When You Eat Pancakes, This Is What Happens To Your Body

Pancakes are a classic food in many countries, including the United States. Plenty of people have fond memories involving a large breakfast of pancakes accompanied with things like eggs, bacon, and orange juice. Pancakes are commonly topped with maple syrup but some people enjoy eating them with peanut butter, fresh berries, or chocolate chips. Unfortunately, this iconic breakfast dish comes with some flaws. According to Healthline, pancakes contain large amounts of refined flour, which can lead to insulin resistance and obesity.

Pancakes are also usually eaten with unhealthy toppings like syrup. Many commercial pancake syrups contain high-fructose corn syrup and are high in sugar. Added sugar can lead to all sorts of health problems, from anxiety to cavities to inflammation (via WebMD). According to Livestrong, you can make your pancakes healthier by topping them with fresh fruit, which contains fiber and antioxidants, instead of syrup. Pancake mix can also be high in sodium, so you'll want to watch your sodium intake for the rest of the day if you have pancakes for breakfast.

Healthier pancake alternatives

There are many ways to make pancakes a little healthier so you can enjoy them more often. According to Everyday Health, your pancake topping choices make the biggest difference when it comes to this food's nutritional value. "The part about pancakes that's 'unhealthy' isn't necessarily the pancakes themselves, it's what you put on top of them," said Charlotte Martin, RDN, a physical therapist and recipe developer in Baltimore. "Calories, fat, and sugar can really start to add up when you start adding mix-ins like chocolate chips and toppings like butter and syrup." Instead of syrup, try topping your pancakes with fresh fruit, nut butter, and spices. You can also add a dollop of Greek yogurt for an added protein boost.

Of course, many store-bought pancake mixes aren't great. They are usually high in refined flour and low in fiber. If you want to use a store-bought mix, try stirring in some chia seeds or flaxseeds for added fiber. Or, you can make your own pancakes from scratch with whole-wheat flour and natural sweeteners like applesauce or mashed bananas. And if you want to enjoy classic pancakes made with a store-bought mix and topped with syrup, go ahead. Just keep your portion size in check and only eat like this in moderation.