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Myth or Fact: Brown Eggs Are More Nutritious Than White Eggs


Because brown eggs are often labeled as organic or cage-free and may be more expensive, you may be wondering if brown eggs are really more nutritious than white eggs. Some brown foods are indeed healthier than white foods, as is the case with brown versus white rice, but brown eggs and white eggs are actually quite similar nutritionally.

Are Brown Eggs Healthier?

Brown eggs are not significantly different nutritionally than white eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA also notes that egg color is determined by the breed of hen laying the egg, and one reason brown eggs tend to cost more is because hens that lay brown eggs are usually larger and eat more food than hens that lay white eggs.

What About Cage-Free Eggs?

While cage-free eggs, regardless of whether or not they are white or brown in color, aren't nutritionally different from eggs laid by hens living in battery cages, the hens in cage-free environments are treated more humanly, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Unlike battery-caged hens, cage-free hens are kept in larger living spaces that allow these hens to spread their wings, walk around, and lay eggs in nests instead of being kept in cramped living quarters, the Humane Society notes. However, cage-free hens are not guaranteed access to outdoor living areas.

Organic, Pasture-Fed, and Free-Range Eggs

Brown eggs marked as pasture-fed or free-range come from hens allowed access to the outdoors, and organic eggs come from uncaged hens allowed to roam outdoors and fed organic diets free from fertilizers and pesticides, notes the USDA. Organic eggs are often the most expensive, and many organic egg farmers use brown hens to lay brown eggs -- but not all brown eggs are organic.

Omega-3-Rich Eggs

Some hens raised in organic environments are fed omega-3-rich diets that often include flax seeds. These hens produce eggs rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Technically, organic omega-3-rich eggs, regardless of color, are the healthiest you can buy -- which is why these eggs are generally the most expensive.

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An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as and

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