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Considering Adding Eggs in Your Diet?

Chew on this:

For years we were told to limit our eggs to three times a week because of the high level of cholesterol they contained. However, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines have eased up on that restriction, citing that “cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.” Eggs are a safe, wholesome, convenient, nutrient-dense food. A large egg provides 6 grams of protein, 13 essential vitamins and minerals and antioxidants for only 70 calories.

Buying Eggs (and chicken, btw) – what do those labels mean?

  • Cage free: This label indicates that the flock can freely roam a building, room, or enclosed area with unlimited access to food and fresh water during their production cycle. There are no regulations for outdoor access with the cage-free label.
  • Free range or free roaming: Producers must demonstrate to the USDA that the poultry is allowed access to the outside.
  • Grass-fed (or forage-fed):  Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.
  • Humane:  While there are multiple labeling programs making claims that animals were treated humanely during the production cycle, the verification of these claims varies widely and these labeling programs are not regulated.
  • Natural: As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products.
  • Naturally raised: All products labeled with a naturally raised marketing claim must incorporate information explicitly stating that animals have been raised without growth promotants, without antibiotics (except as outlined above in “Ask the Expert”) and no animal by-products were fed to the animals.
  • No antibiotics: The terms “no antibiotics added” may be used on labels for poultry products if sufficient documentation is provided by the producer to the USDA demonstrating that the animals were raised without antibiotics.
  • No hormones: Hormones are not ever allowed in raising poultry. Therefore, the claim “no hormones added” cannot be used on the labels of poultry unless it is followed by a statement that says “Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones.”
  • Organic: The National Organic Program regulates all organic crops, livestock, and agricultural products certified to the USDA organic standards. To know if your food is organic, look for the organic seal on the label. 
  • Pasture-raised: Due to the number of variables involved in pasture-raised agricultural systems, the USDA has not developed a labeling policy for pasture-raised products.

Try these Gourmet Selections – selected by our Dietitian today!