Eggs are back in the spotlight these days, but not because they are bad for you. There was a time when health experts thought that eggs had too much cholesterol and didn’t have a place in a nutritious diet. Things have changed though as new research finds that eating eggs is actually a very good choice. They are loaded with protein and tons of antioxidants so you can likely eat an egg every day without a problem. Here’s what to know before you buy your carton of eggs.
1. Don’t Get Tricked by What Color Your Eggs Are
The color of your eggs mean nothing so don’t think that the brown eggs are better than the white ones. The breed of hen is what determines the egg color and the one you choose doesn’t affect the taste or nutritional quality of the egg. Sometimes brown eggs are priced higher, but the white ones are perfectly fine if you don’t want to pay more.
2. Choose Grade a Eggs
Most of the eggs on store shelves are going to be Grade A so you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to figure it out. Grade A eggs are those without yolk defects and a clear white. The shells will not be stained. However, experts say that there really isn’t much of a difference among the grades of eggs, but A is your best bet for good taste and an affordable price.
3. You Definitely Want Antibiotic-Free Eggs
With the rising awareness of the dangers of getting too many antibiotics, consumers should choose eggs that come from hens whose feed was not treated with antibiotics. The thinking was that the antibiotics would keep the hens healthier and the eggs better, but with the onslaught of antibiotic resistant super bugs, experts are now saying you need to limit your intake.
4. Eggs Are Safe Far past Their Sell by Date
Experts say that you can safely eat eggs about five weeks past their sell by date. As long as they are kept refrigerated the eggs will stay safe to eat. However, if you crack an egg open and it has a funny smell or appearance, it’s better to be safe and toss it rather than eating it and hoping for the best.
5. You Might like to Buy Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
Omega-3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that support good brain and heart function. They are most abundant in certain types of fish, but enriched eggs are an alternative if you don’t eat seafood. Enriched eggs contain about 600 mg of omega-3s each, which is about half the amount found in a serving of salmon.
6. Think Twice about Vegetarian Fed Eggs
This means that the hens laying the eggs were fed a vegetarian diet. However, experts say that this isn’t natural for hens, as they are not traditionally vegetarians in the wild. It might sound good, but chances are the hens aren’t as healthy as they could be if they were given their natural diet, which usually includes some types of animal products.
7. Consider the Living Situation of the Hens
It’s easy to sit down and enjoy an egg without thought of the hen who laid it for you. However, if many situations, hens are kept in tiny cages where they don’t have access to the outdoors. Cage-free doesn’t necessarily mean they have a better life as they still don’t go outside. Free-range hens can move around outdoors, but they aren’t roaming around free either. If this is important to you, you may find that buying eggs at farmers’ markets is better because you can talk to the farmer about how they raise their chickens.
What do you consider when buying eggs? What’s your favorite way to prepare them?