The Comeback Chick: Can You Spot A Nutrient-Dense Egg Yolk?

The Comeback Chick: Can You Spot A Nutrient-Dense Egg Yolk?

Republished with permission from Clean Plates.

After almost 40 years of government warnings about cholesterol consumption, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (the group that provides the science for the Guidelines) said, “Oops, we were kidding.” Their exact wording: cholesterol in the diet is no longer a “nutrient of concern.”

If that alone wasn’t enough to make you rethink your frittata-phobia, studies at Harvard School of Public Health show eggs contain nutrients that actually help lower heart disease risk, including vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate. Yolks also contain choline, a super nutrient that is essential for brain cell function.

So go ahead and kiss those egg-white omelets goodbye for good, but don’t order your three-egg omelets so fast: Even if cholesterol is no longer a nutrition no-no, it doesn’t mean you can go around eating any old egg yolk. Quality still counts, and not all eggs are created equal. You can spot a nutrient-dense egg from a mile away once you crack it open.

When your chickens eat a nutrient-rich diet, they produce superfood-style eggs. Hens that forage on green plants and bugs in a free-range environment eat a diet full of carotenoids, giving the yolks a more orange hue. Healthy yolks tend to be bigger, too.

The darker your yolk, the more nutrients it contains. Our recommendation: Get your eggs from “pasture-raised” hens whenever possible to reap the most benefits. Don’t confuse “pasture-raised” for “pasteurized,” which means the eggs have been treated. And know that labels like “cage-free” and “free-range,” don’t necessarily mean the hens had access to green fields.

Check out this egg scorecard for farms near you or head over to your local farmers’ market.

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Photo: Jocelyn Mcauley