It’s hard to find many people who aren’t filled with immense joy when seeing a plate of pancakes being served for breakfast.
Not only can they be made easily with a simple combination of eggs, milk, flour and butter, but you can even add some syrup to make them even more appetizing.
This does mean however that we often won’t give a second thought to how many calories are actually in a pancake while we’re tucking in, however despite being made from just a few simple ingredients, the actual calorie and nutritional content of pancakes can actually be quite surprising, so therefore to understand exactly how well pancakes fit into a healthy diet, here is all you need to know about the calorie contents on pancakes.
Do Pancakes Contain A Lot Of Calories?
A regular 4 inch pancake with no added mixture or ingredients clocks in at around 75 calories, however bigger pancakes such as those at 6 inches wide often reach up to 150 calories.
While on it’s own this can seem like a fairly minimal amount which won’t overstep the calorie count too much, it is very rare that we will have just one small pancake at a time simply because not only does it taste extremely plain with nothing smothered on it, but it also won’t fill us up and just leaves us wanting more.
On average people will usually have 3 pancakes at a time, however even 3 smaller pancakes adds up to 225 calories, and this is not even counting the other sweet additions we usually mix in to make the pancakes a bit more of a tasteful breakfast option.
Syrup is one of the main secondary ingredients people will usually drizzle on top of some pancakes to give them a sweetened taste that almost feels like it melts in the mouth, however syrup is quite high in calories due to how much sugar it contains with each drizzle adding on an extra 50 calories to a pancake.
If you’re more of a fan of adding peanut butter to your morning pancakes, this unfortunately contains an even higher calorie count than syrup with approximately 105 calories per tablespoon, however it does have a lower sugar content.
Finally there is butter, which is also a fan favorite in terms of adding some texture and flavor to a pancake, however it too only bolster the calorie content of pancakes by adding on 33 calories each tablespoon.
Why Do Pancakes Contain So Many Calories?
At first it can seem slightly baffling that pancakes contain so many calories when they are only made from a handful of ingredients and are extremely small in size, however part of the reason is not only due to what their made of, which usually includes white flour, but also the syrup and butter which is often served alongside them with all these ingredients essentially being pure sugar.
There is also the fact that what pancakes lack in fiber they make up for by having a very high amount of carbs with a single serving of 4 regular pancakes containing 27g which is 8 to 12% of the required amount for a single day.
Each pancake also possesses fairly high levels of fat with a serving of 4 containing 8.5g of fat with roughly half of that being saturated fats which can really become an issue when trying to balance out your required nutrients throughout the day without consuming too much in one meal.
There are certainly a few nutritional benefits, such as the moderate protein levels and high amount of potassium in a single serving, however pancakes are known to still contain a moderate amount of calories for just one light breakfast meal that can be far higher when dousing them in butter or syrup.
Can You Make Pancakes Healthier?
If you really enjoy pancakes as a morning starter to get you ready and energized for the day and want to try and avoid some other breakfast options such as bacon which can contain far more calories and fat, then there are a few ways you can make them as healthy as possible while still making sure they don’t taste dry and bland.
Buckwheat pancakes, made from natural buckwheat oats, is the healthiest type of base you can use for making pancakes as it is much lower in calories then other variants.
Buckwheat is an extremely healthy ingredient to incorporate into a healthy diet that is also extremely high in fiber which is great when making pancakes since they usually have an extremely low fiber count.
Because size matters a lot, it can also be a good idea to buy or make some 3 inch pancakes rather than the regular 4 inch or the larger 6 inches.
These will surprisingly contain far less calories and allow you to eat more without consuming too many calories or fat in one go.
It can also be a great idea to add some fruit and vegetables on top of the pancake not only to make it that much more healthy and to mix in some beneficial nutrients, but also to enhance the taste and keep the pancakes from being too dry or stale.
1Strawberries are one excellent fruit option however you can also use the juice of a strawberry or orange to cover the pancakes in rather than syrup as another healthy option.
While it can seem quite surprising considering how small and easy to whip together pancakes are, even the standard 4 inch pancakes with no drizzled sauces or added butter are quite high in calories just as a small breakfast meal.
This is especially the case when covering them in thick syrup or even honey to make them as sweet as possible, however this does not mean if you are a lover of pancakes that you must leave them behind entirely, just try to buy or make pancakes as small as possible and consider using natural ingredients rather than white flour while avoiding syrup and butter as much as possible.