Food Fight!: Pancakes vs. French Toast

Which one of these morning staples is the healthier choice? The answer in this battle of the breakfast goods might surprise you.

French Toast

Thick slices of bread drenched in creamy custard, then pan-fried in butter and drenched in maple syrup can lead to a French toast breakfast that pushes 800 calories and 30 grams of fat. The good news: Using sensible (yet still delicious) ingredients--like thin-sliced whole-grain bread and low-fat milk--and also adding flavor with cinnamon and fresh fruit can slash those ugly nutrition numbers in half.

Pancakes

Even the lightest and fluffiest of pancakes can rack up the calories. Restaurant orders will top 750 calories and 22 grams of fat, and that's before the extra butter and syrup. Traditional pancake add-ins may or may not get you into trouble. Bananas and blueberries are virtually harmless, while chocolate chips and caramel sauce contribute to excess (unnecessary) sugar.

Homemade flapjack recipes may cut back a bit on the butter and oil--they're about 30 percent lighter. Lightening up the batter is also possible by using lower-fat dairy products, and you can swap in whole-grain flours to up the nutrient content.

Healthy Eats Winner: French Toast

Despite the numerous ways you can attempt to cut the calories in your favorite pancake recipe, French toast comes out on top.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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