We eat chicken eggs. So why not duck eggs?
With that mindset, I purchased my first package of duck eggs from the local farmer’s market. But when it came time to actually eat the eggs, I’m embarrassed to admit that I became a little squeamish. But I was pleasantly surprised.
Aside from being a bit larger in size, having a higher yoke to white ratio and a being slightly richer in flavor (which makes duck eggs a tasty substitute in recipes), the eggs are nearly indistinguishable.
According to the farmer from which I acquired the duck eggs, they’re better for you – and so I decided to dig deeper. As it turns out, there are some distinct nutritional differences between chicken eggs and duck eggs.
Duck eggs, on nearly every measure, have more nutrients and vitamins per 100 grams than chicken eggs. Whether it’s calcium, magnesium, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, thiamin, etc., duck eggs pack more nutritional punch on almost every count.
Duck eggs are also a richer source of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids, commonly found in fish oils, are vital for normal metabolism but can’t be synthesized by the body. In other words, you have to obtain these fatty acids through your diet.
On the flip side, the duck eggs are slightly higher in calories (185 vs 149 per 100 grams) and have twice the cholesterol of traditional eggs. Keep in mind, the impact of dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol we eat) on the cholesterol in our blood is fairly small. Unless you already have high blood cholesterol levels or an otherwise unhealthy diet, the increased cholesterol in duck eggs isn’t cause for concern.
Because duck eggs have a thicker shell, they’re said to have a longer shelf life. If refrigerated, according to my local farmer, the eggs are edible for up to six weeks.
The bottom line: If you’re looking to switch things up, duck eggs are a delicious, rich substitution – and their health benefits are no yoke. I mean, no joke.