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Pancakes or Waffles - Which Is the Healthier Breakfast Option?

Updated on October 29, 2020
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I am a foodie who loves to test out new cuisine whenever I can. My taste buds tend to lean more towards spicy, rich flavors.

Start off the day with healthy, yummylicious breakfast

I absolutely love pancakes and can have them any time of the day be it for lunch, breakfast, or dinner. That's how much I relish them. I like waffles too and have them on a regular basis with a scoop of ice cream. I am a big fan of Belgian chocolate waffles which feel like small pieces of pure heaven in my mouth. Recently when I finished my share of waffles with ice cream, it got me thinking about its health benefits. Obviously, having the ice cream there doesn't really ascent its health quotient, but I got thinking about which is the healthier option of the two - pancakes or waffles. Let's just compare the two breakfast favorites and find out.

Pictures courtesy: All pictures on this page are from Free Digital Photos gallery

Pancakes with delicious strawberries, ice cream & whipping cream
Pancakes with delicious strawberries, ice cream & whipping cream
Belgian waffles with blueberries, strawberries and maple syrup
Belgian waffles with blueberries, strawberries and maple syrup

Take a moment to vote

Which is your preferred breakfast choice: pancakes or waffles?

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The Good Side

Let's first figure out what's the good stuff in pancakes and waffles apart from their heavenly taste.


Key ingredients in pancakes include milk and eggs. As you know already, milk is rich in calcium whereas eggs are a hub for proteins. A reason why pancakes are preferred as a breakfast indulgence is because of the fact that they are rich in carbohydrates. This helps you in providing that much-needed energy to begin the day with. You can also increase the nutrient count of pancakes by including fruits or vegetables. My favorite is including a couple of strawberries to my pancake plate! But you needn't restrict yourself to just strawberries -- include other berry items too like cranberries, blueberries. The good thing about pancakes is that they can be combined with anything and everything healthy and still taste yum. So go ahead and create your own healthy breakfast combo with pancakes.


Like pancakes, waffles contain milk and eggs which make them a good source of calcium and proteins. Another good thing about waffles is that they are available in a number of varieties which means there's always a particular type of waffle out there catering to your taste buds.

The Bad Side

Now let us take a look at what's wrong with eating too many pancakes or waffles. Every good stuff has a bad side, right? So here goes.


What do you usually prefer along with pancakes? For me, the answer is simple - maple syrup! I love the combo of maple syrup and pancakes. But did you know that adding heaps of maple syrup or butter to your pancakes can increase your sugar and fat intake? So even though pancakes in itself is not harmful as such, what you tend to have along with it determines your calorie intake. Shift to healthier options like homemade fruit jams, purees instead. Since pancakes are not a rich source of fiber, chances are you will start feeling hungry sooner than intended. You can always try shifting from flour to whole wheat flour to increase your nutrient intake -- and it is also a much healthier option. If you want to go more healthy, replace whole eggs with just the egg whites.


Those who are at the risk of suffering from high cholesterol, stay away from waffles! They are loaded with cholesterol and calories. Like in the case of pancakes, you can go healthy by trying to use whole grain flour to create the batter, and by replacing whole eggs with egg whites. Most of the negatives mentioned in pancakes, apply for waffles too.

Calorie Count

Pancakes (1 count; average size 6 inch) - around 180 calories

Waffle (1 count; average size 6 inch) - around 220 calories

Pancakes have around 20% fewer calories than waffles.

Which is healthier?

After reading the bad side of both breakfast items, you might have come to the conclusion that more or less they have the same health benefits. But that's not it -- one of them has a higher health quotient provided you make them right.

Pancakes can be made with just whole wheat and some seasoning whereas waffles require the use of butter and eggs. This dramatically increases the chance of pancakes being the healthier out of the two provided you avoid the use of butter and eggs.

Tips on how to make your pancakes and waffles yummy & healthy at the same time

  • If you find that the fruit you are having with your waffles or pancakes is not sweet enough, you can always add a small amount of sweetener to the puree. This still would be much healthier than using lakes of butter or maple syrup.
  • The Key is to have everything in moderation. Keep your portion size small and you can have just about everything with your pancakes and waffles.
  • To increase the fiber content of pancakes, you should try adding flaxseed.
  • Select whole fruits as extras for your pancakes or waffles instead of sugary fruit syrups.
  • Feel like having a light breakfast? Make smaller pancakes on the skillet or pour in less batter while preparing a waffle.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 Kalpana Iyer


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