Among Breakfast Titans, Do Pancakes Beat Eggs?

By Sara Butler

Breakfast Showdown

March 4 is National Pancake Day and it brings an interesting question to mind: If you want to be healthy, which is a better breakfast -- pancakes or eggs?

While it may be true that pancakes aren’t exactly known as a health food, they do have some benefits to your health and wellness. Let’s put pancakes and eggs in the breakfast ring and see which comes out on top!

Pancakes

Let’s start with the pancake positives. If you’re firing up your griddle and making pancakes at home in the morning, those pancakes can have a lot of healthy qualities. You can easily use whole wheat flour instead of white flour to add a little pizazz -- also known as fiber -- to your morning. If you skip the maple flavored high-fructose corn syrup and loads of butter and opt instead for fruit toppings, then you’re really adding some nutritional punch to your pancakes. Adding fruits such as blueberries, peaches, or blackberries, or even nuts such as pecans, to your pancakes provides you with protein and fiber to keep you full all morning long.

But let’s be honest, when was the last time you enjoyed a stack of pancakes without syrup and butter or didn’t simply make them from a box? Typically, pancakes are low in fiber because they’re made with white flour. That makes them less filing. It adds insult to injury that most mass-produced maple syrups aren’t actually maple syrup at all, but high-fructose corn syrup with maple flavoring. What that means is that you’re topping your normal low-fiber pancakes with sugar that makes it difficult for you to power through your entire morning without being hungry.

Eggs

First, let’s focus on the extraordinary power of the humble egg. I don’t feel as if I’m going out on a limb and saying that it’s a nearly perfect food. One egg has only 70 calories, with 4 grams of protein and a serving of Vitamin D, zeaxanthin, and lutein, the two of which are especially good for your eyes.

Many people used to be under the impression that eggs weren’t good for you because they contained cholesterol. It’s now known that most folks can safely eat one egg per day without it having an impact on their cholesterol.

Now for the bad news: Eggs do have saturated fat. They actually have about 9 percent of your daily recommended limit of saturated fat and over half of your daily recommended amount of cholesterol. You can also make them less healthy if you fry or scramble them in butter since that adds even more saturated fat and cholesterol.

The Verdict

Should you celebrate National Pancake Day every day? Probably not. But should you feel free to enjoy a stack responsibly every once in a while? Yes! Especially If you opt for pancakes full of healthy fiber and berries and free from loads of butter and sugar. For an easy, everyday kind of breakfast, eggs have come out on top.

Sorry, pancakes.

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