Vitality

How Animal Diet Affects Your Health: What Chickens Eat Impacts Eggs' Nutritional Value

Last month, we talked to nationally recognized registered dietitians, nutritionists, personal trainers, and twin sisters Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos — known as The Nutrition Twins — about staying fit and healthy in 2017.

The Lakatos sisters raved about the health benefits of eggs — especially those from chickens with a diet of lutein-rich marigolds. It turns out that a chicken’s diet can actually affect your well-being as a consumer.

chicken How does a chicken's diet affect the taste and nutrition of its eggs? Photo courtesy of Pexels

“Alfalfa meal and marigold – these are sources of lutein, a carotenoid pigment that helps maintain eye and skin health, and may help guard against some forms of cancer,” the Nutrition Twins told us. “Marigolds have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties and prevention of free-radical damage, both of which promote optimal health.”

So, how exactly does a chicken’s diet impact an egg’s nutrients?

“The various antioxidants in feed work together to protect against oxidation, which helps to prevent off-flavors that could result from oxidized nutrients,” Eggland’s Best Head of Quality Assurance, Dr. Bart Slaugh, PhD, told Medical Daily in an email. “Ideal egg flavor is characterized as being free from off-flavors, having a ‘clean’ taste.”

According to Dr. Slaugh, a majority of chickens in the United States lay eggs that contain animal by-products. However, animal fat and meat can be replaced with canola oil through the chicken's feed, which will ultimately change the taste and improve the nutrition content of the eggs.

Next time you’re at the grocery store debating which meat or animal products to purchase, even if it’s not eggs, consider the source’s diet.

For example, women may be at greater risk of detrimental health effects from hormones in food. According to SFGATE, modern farming practices often involve supplementing animal feed with growth hormone to promote faster weight gain.

Read more:

Room Temperature Or Refrigerate? Egg Storage, Risk For Chicken Poop Depends On Geographic Location

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