The calories in your pancake day feast could increase you…
Combinations of Brits’ favorite toppings, from chocolate spread and fruit to syrup and bacon, can rack up hundreds of calories on Shrove Tuesday.
For example, a typical serving of American-style pancakes topped with syrup, butter, and bacon may be higher in calories than a McDonald’s Big Mac.
And a single crepe served with Nutella and strawberries contains half the recommended daily sugar intake for adults.
To prevent your waistline from suffering today, nutritionists urge people to consume fruits, nuts and Greek yogurt.
You can hover over MailOnline’s interactive tool to see how caloric your favorite pancake combinations are.
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This website’s audit of more than thirty toppings and six pancake recipes revealed the surprising amount of sugar, fat, and calories they contain.
A single Scottish pancake (121 calories) or a French crepe (161 calories) are the lowest calorie base, while a large, fluffy American pancake is slightly higher in calories (178 calories), according to BBC Good Food recipes.
Banana pancakes, popular with vegans and health fanatics, which replace sugar with fruit, contain 161 calories per pancake.
Meanwhile, a vegan recipe, which replaces eggs and cow’s milk with vegetable oil and plant-based milk, has just 90 calories per pancake, according to the recipes.
But regular toppings can make the treat skyrocket to over 500 calories.
An American pancake topped with fried chicken and drizzled with maple syrup has 527 calories, which is more than a McDonald’s Big Mac (493 calories).
A Nutella-flavored crepe, which contains 8.4 g of sugar in a teaspoon, with strawberries containing approximately 4.9 g of sugar per serving, totals 16.3 g of sugar.
A crepe served with a drizzle of Nutella contains 241 calories and 11.4 g of sugar. For comparison, a Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut has 195 calories and 12g of sugar.
Meanwhile, a banana pancake with banana, mixed nuts and honey has 511 calories and 46.9g of sugar.
For context, the average woman is recommended to consume 2,000 per day to maintain a healthy weight and a third of the 2,500 recommended for the typical man.
Two tablespoons of milk chocolate chips (137 calories) or a banana (135 calories) are among the highest-calorie sweet options to add to pancakes, while fried chicken (310 calories) or a slice of cheese ( 125 calories) are among the most caloric salty options.
A banana was also among the most sugary options that could be added (27g), along with milk chocolate chips (14.3g) and 25g of marshmallows (14.2g).
However, the sugar in bananas is natural, while that in chocolate and marshmallows is added. Health officials recommend reducing the consumption of this type of sugar (to no more than 30 g per day), as it can cause cavities and weight gain.
However, simpler combinations can reduce the calories in your pancake.
Just adding lemon and a teaspoon of sugar to your crepe would give you a total of 178 calories and 7.1 g of sugar.
Meanwhile, a buttered scotch pancake contains 195 calories, while adding strawberry jam would bring the total to 158 calories.
However, there are healthier options that can satisfy both those with a sweet tooth and a salty tooth, says Rob Hobson, registered nutritionist and author of Unprocess Your Life.
He suggests sticking to fruit, nuts, and yogurt.
‘Fresh fruits are great, such as berries and bananas, which also pair well with a thin layer of nut butter. “Fruits are a source of vitamin C and potassium, while nut butter is a good source of vitamin E,” he says.
‘You can also make your own compote very easily by placing the frozen berries in the microwave for 30 seconds until they soften and form a thick sauce, which is great with Greek yogurt.
“Nuts and seeds are also great and can be sprinkled on sweet and savory pancake options.”
But if you want to eat something more substantial, he suggests topping your pancake with sliced avocado, spinach, and a sliced boiled or poached egg.
Hobson also recommends avoiding adding sugar to pancake mix.
He said: ‘As far as the pancake is concerned, I think there is little difference if you use the same type of batter made with flour, eggs and milk (American style baking powder).
“I would probably leave the sugar out of the pancake mix and go for the natural sweetness of the fruits and maybe a little honey.”