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Breakfast Challenge Tip 7: Which Is Healthier: Pancakes or Eggs?

By Hilary Meyer, February 28, 2012 - 6:12pm

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One of the easiest ways to eat healthier is to have breakfast every day. Each day this week, we will post a new, easy tip to help you adopt this healthy habit for just one week.

Here’s today’s tip:

Tip 7: Which Is Healthier: Pancakes or Eggs?

When you’re cooking at home, either pancakes or eggs can be a healthy choice. When you’re making pancakes from scratch they can have a lot of healthy qualities. First, you can make them with whole grains like whole-wheat flour, which will add heart-healthy, filling fiber. You can also add extra-healthy toppings, such as fruit to boost vitamins and fiber- and protein-packed nuts to transform them into a nutritious breakfast. However, pancakes are not particularly high in protein—another food component that helps you feel fuller longer. Add to that maple syrup—or worse, a maple syrup knockoff!—which just adds more sugar (i.e., empty calories) to your meal, and we’re looking at a breakfast that might be tasty, but doesn’t power you through the morning.

On the flip side, a single egg is only 70 calories (that’s if you eat it hard-boiled or poached, not fried or scrambled in butter or oil). Plus, egg whites deliver protein (4 grams each) and the yolk delivers some vitamin D, plus lutein and zeaxanthin, two antioxidants that help protect against macular degeneration. For an extra health boost, pair the eggs with vegetables—sautéed onions, peppers, broccoli and spinach are some of my favorites (or try this veggie-filled Quick Breakfast Taco and more easy egg recipes)—for added fiber and nutrients. This is a breakfast that will keep you feeling full and satisfied for hours.

So, unless it’s a whole-grain, nut-flecked, bursting-with-berries kind of pancake, I’d usually stick with eggs because they’re more inherently nutritious and higher in protein, which will keep you feeling full on fewer calories.

Here are some delicious easy egg recipes to try.

For more Breakfast Challenge tips, meal plans and recipes, visit the Breakfast Challenge landing page.

TAGS: Hilary Meyer, Health Blog, Breakfast, Breakfast Challenge, Health, Nutrition

Hilary Meyer
Hilary Meyer develops and tests healthy recipes in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. She is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute.

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