Cakes are considered to be a part of cheat meals because of their high sugar and fat content, but the case may be different for pancakes. Because of their lighter sweetness, a lot of you may wonder — is pancakes healthy?
Pancakes are certainly delicious, but they are just not healthy to have on a regular basis. Today, we will be discussing more pancakes, and whether you can sneak them into your diet every now and then.
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Is Pancakes Healthy?
Pancakes aren’t a healthy breakfast option. The real issue with them is that they’re not very nutritionally rich and have some nutrients that can be bad for you if you have them regularly. On the other hand, the number of calories in pancakes isn’t too high.
While the calories in your pancakes will vary depending on the recipe or pancake mix you use, the standard serving of pancakes (3.5 ounces) is about 221 calories.
Therefore, if you have pancakes without syrup or any other toppings, you will actually be having fewer calories than the recommended one. However, since they are usually served with butter, maple syrup, and other toppings, you will meet the recommended caloric intake for your breakfast.
It’s not the calories you should be considered with pancakes, you need to know the nutritional values. So, let’s take a look at all the nutritional values of pancakes to determine whether they are good for you.
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Drawbacks of Pancakes
As we have said before, pancakes aren’t healthy because they lack some nutrients while having too much of other nutrients. To get a better idea, we will be discussing the drawbacks of these nutrients in this section.
Pancakes have quite a bit of fat which isn’t good for you if you consume this dish on a regular basis. There are around 8.8 grams of fat in one regular serving of pancakes, and when you add the butter on top, the number will surely go up. If you maintain a strict diet where you’re trying to lose weight, then this might not be great for you.
Moreover, about 3.9 grams of the fat is saturated fat which is certainly not good for your health. People who have heart diseases might want to stay away from pancakes and should only have it very occasionally.
Since this meal has a lot of refined white flour in it, it is no surprise that it has a decent amount of carbohydrates. The amount of carbohydrates in 1 serving of pancakes is approximately 27 grams, which comes down to 8 to 12.5 percent of your recommended intake for 1 day.
A good amount of fiber in your meal is essential for keeping your digestive system running smoothly, and to make you feel full. Unfortunately, because refined white flour is generally used for pancakes, they have very low fiber.
This means besides consuming an ample amount of calories, you still won’t feel as fulfilled. Furthermore, your digestion will be slowed down along with your metabolism.
Both of these issues caused by the low fiber content can ultimately result in weight gain, as well as other problems such as constipation and headaches.
Along with fiber, protein is also a key component in keeping you full. Although pancakes do have some protein due to the eggs used, it is still not sufficient. There’s about 13 g of protein in 1 egg, but pancakes have about 8 grams. This makes for 14.5 to 17.5 percent of your recommended protein intake; thus it’s not enough.
The high protein content is a must for people who are very active and are trying to build more muscle, so just eating pancakes for breakfast won’t do the job.
Sugar and Salt:
Pancakes aren’t overly sweet like most other cakes, and also have a savory taste to them. However, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have much sugar.
The granulated sugar used for the butter in combination with the maple or chocolate syrup used as a topping makes the sugar content high. Too much consumption of sugary foods can lead to many health complications, so it’s best if you limit your intake of pancakes.
Some of you may be unaware, but pancakes also have a dash of salt in them, meaning there’s also a decent amount of sodium in them. With each pancake serving, you’ll be fulfilling 13 to 20% of your daily sodium intake.
Advantages of Pancakes
By now it has been made abundantly clear that you shouldn’t have pancakes regularly, but eating them will give you a few advantages!
Vitamins and Minerals in Pancakes:
A lot of you may be surprised, but pancakes have a good amount of calcium and even phosphorus which is 20% of the suggested intake. Bone strength will be boosted by consuming calcium and phosphorus in the right amounts.
Improving your body’s ability to create DNA and RNA is another advantage of proper consumption of these minerals.
There are also plenty of other minerals such as magnesium, iron, zinc, and vitamins such as vitamin B6 and vitamin C, which are all detrimental to good health.
How Do I Make Pancakes Healthier?
There are numerous ways in which you can make pancakes a healthier option. For starters, instead of using refined white flour, you can use whole-wheat flour.
This will give you much more fiber, thus improving your digestive system movements. If you want some gluten-free alternatives, then you may use rice, corn, quinoa, and buckwheat instead of white flour.
Since too much-refined sugar is bad for you, you may also use natural sweeteners such as fresh fruits on your pancakes. Adding fruits will add great flavors as well as more vital nutrients to your meal.
Healthy banana pancakes made with oats are also a very trendy, and health-conscious substitute to your regular pancakes. So, you can use some overripe bananas to make sweet and delicious healthy pancakes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Should you have pancakes if you’re trying to lose weight?
Pancakes can get very high in calories if you add a lot of syrup and butter. They are also low in fiber and have a lot of carbohydrates which make them unsuitable for weight loss diets, but you may have the healthier versions of pancakes.
Is pancakes healthier than French toast?
Neither of these is a very healthy option, but pancakes do have less sugar and calories than French toast, which makes them healthier.
Is pancakes better for you than waffles?
Pancake and waffle batter are very similar, so there aren’t many differences. However, pancakes can keep you full for longer than waffles.
Are whole wheat pancakes better for your health than regular pancakes?
Whole wheat pancakes have a much greater amount of fiber than regular ones, and they also contain a larger content of vitamins and minerals, making them healthier.
Finally, to answer the question, is pancakes healthy for you, we must say no — because of the high sugar, carbohydrates, and fat content.
However, they do not cause much harm if you only enjoy them occasionally! Furthermore, you can use substitutes for white flour and granulated sugar in your recipe to make them a bit healthier.