Is There A Nutritional Difference Between Fertilized And Unfertilized Eggs?

When shopping for eggs, it can be difficult to decide which variety to get. There are so many options to decode on the egg label like pasture-raised, cage-free, organic, and the list goes on. Eggs can also be fertilized or unfertilized, but what does that mean exactly? At just a glance, eggs that have been fertilized and eggs that have not are impossible to tell apart, but there is a scientific difference between them. According to Greatist, hens can lay eggs independently of roosters, but if a rooster has mated with a hen, then the eggs she lays are fertilized.   

There is a myth that a tiny spot of blood on your egg yolk indicates that your egg was fertilized. This is false. Per the USDA, these spots occur very rarely on both fertilized and unfertilized eggs and are just a result of a blood vessel popping while the egg was developing. These eggs are also completely harmless and are just as nutritionally rich as eggs without blood spots, but is there a nutritional difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs in general?

Unfertilized and fertilized eggs are equally nutritious

Eggs boast numerous health benefits. According to Web MD, they are low in calories but are a good source of protein, saturated fats, and certain minerals and vitamins. The popular breakfast food also contains nutrients like vitamin A, folate, vitamin B2, vitamin B5, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and some studies have shown that eggs produced by pastured hens are even richer in nutrients, per Healthline.  

So is there a nutritional difference between fertilized and unfertilized eggs? According to the USDA, there is no noticeably significant nutritional difference between them. However, most commercially sold eggs will be unfertilized both to avoid any unappetizing developments when cracks are made and because keeping hens and roosters separate is more economically viable (via Robust Kitchen). So tomorrow morning while you eat your breakfast, you can eat in peace knowing that whether your eggs are fertilized or unfertilized really doesn't mean a mother-hen-egg-crackin' thing.