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Eggs are one of the best comprehensive foods out there, packed full of protein, vitamins and Omega-3s. However, not all eggs are created equal.

What benefits are you actually getting out of mass-produced, average eggs, versus the more carefully raised, “pricier” options?

Following are the common labels of egg quality, what they mean, and why you should know them for your health.

Natural Eggs:
Does not follow FDA guidelines and is not regulated by any certification. They can include pesticides, hormones, and harmful chemicals such as arsenic and still use this term.
This is the average egg sold in America. These tend to be the most lacking nutritionally, as recent research from Cambridge University, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, suggests.

Organic Eggs:
Must follow strict guidelines set by U.S. Department of Agriculture, including all feed given to chickens. Chickens cannot be fed non-organic material, given growth hormones and eggs cannot be sprayed by chemicals.
While these are healthier than conventional eggs, chickens can still be fed vegetarian diet only, which limits the nutrients in the eggs.

Pastured Eggs:
For chickens are allowed to roam “outside.” The amount of time or quality is not regulated, but this implies chickens are not kept in windowless cages as the majority of birds in America. This is how eggs were traditionally produced, with chickens having unlimited access to the land and able to feed on their normal diet of plants and bugs.

Next time you are at the store, pay attention to the type of eggs you buy. Buying Organic or Pastured eggs will ensure a more nutritious, healthy food, as eggs should be.