This Healthy Swap Can Replace Your Pancake Syrup

Although some people prefer peanut butter or fresh fruit, the most popular pancake topping is syrup. It's hard to beat the combination of fluffy hotcakes with sweet maple syrup and a little bit of butter. However, most of the pancake syrup you'll find in stores is highly processed and full of added sugars (via Livestrong). These products are often made from high fructose corn syrup, water, and artificial flavors and colorings. While it's fine to enjoy these products occasionally, they won't offer any nutritional benefits.

Pure maple syrup, on the other hand, is a tasty way to enjoy the classic taste of pancakes with some added health benefits. Pure maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than refined white sugar and won't raise your blood sugar levels as much as a processed option would. Pure maple syrup also contains many vitamins and minerals including calcium, potassium, iron, and folic acid. While it does still contain a lot of sugar, pure maple syrup is a much better pancake topping than processed syrup.

Are pancakes healthy?

If we're talking about healthy and unhealthy pancake toppings, we should also talk about the pancakes themselves. According to Healthline, pancakes are often made with a lot of refined flour, which can lead to insulin resistance and obesity when consumed frequently. They also don't contain very much protein or fiber, so they won't keep you full for very long.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can make a pancake breakfast a little healthier. According to Everyday Health, what you put on top of this food makes a big difference when it comes to the overall nutritional value of your breakfast. "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." In addition to pure maple syrup, you can also try topping your pancakes with yogurt, nut butter, and fresh fruit.