Nutrition Guide for Waffles

waffles with summer berries
Waffles are high in iron but also high in sugar and fat. (Image: Olha_Afanasieva/iStock/Getty Images)

Waffles, typically made from a batter of flour, baking powder, eggs, milk, butter and sugar, date back to ancient Greece, according to "Time" magazine. They are cooked in a special press that gives them a characteristic grid pattern. You may opt to eat them plain; however, the most popular way to serve waffles is with butter and maple syrup.

Calories

A serving of 2 waffles, each 4 inches by 4 inches, contains 170 to 250 calories. This amount may vary based on ingredients used in your waffle batter, as well as by brand. Adding 1 tbsp. of butter contributes 102 calories, and pouring 3 tbsp. of maple syrup over your waffles adds 80 calories. Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University's Health Q&A Internet Service, recommends planning a breakfast containing 350 to 500 calories to best meet your morning energy needs. If you need to boost calorie levels, consider serving a side of fruit or breakfast meat, such as ham or bacon, with the waffles.

Fat and Sugar

Two waffles contains 6 to 12 g of fat, 2 to 3 g of which are saturated. Best practice dictates that you limit fat consumption to 44 to 78 g of fat each day and not eat more than 15 g of saturated fat a day. Excess saturated fat greatly increases your risk of elevated cholesterol levels, which contributes to your chances of experiencing heart disease and stroke. A serving of two waffles also contains 3 g of sugar. Consuming too much sugar in your diet can result in inflammation and elevated blood pressure. Both fat and sugar can contribute to excess weight gain.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Consuming waffles adds 26 to 30 g of carbohydrates to your meal plan; you should be sure to eat 130 g of carbs each day. This macronutrient satisfies your energy needs and accounts for approximately 104 to 120 calories in a two-waffle portion. Carbohydrates are stored in your muscles and liver for later use, although the fiber in your diet, a part of carbohydrate-rich foods, is a carbohydrate that the body does not digest. Fiber, sometimes referred to as bulk or roughage, can help you avoid constipation and may also play a role in helping you lose weight. High-fiber foods keep your stomach feeling fuller for longer, which can keep you from eating too many calories.

Vitamins

Two waffles contain 10 to 20 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin A. This vitamin plays a critical role in sperm production and maintaining the female reproductive cycle, and your skin depends on it to stay healthy. A vitamin A deficiency may be indicated by dry skin and vision problems, as vitamin A also helps with night vision. Waffles also provide you with 2 percent of the vitamin C you need to consume daily. Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is reputed to fight colds, although Dr. Seth Feltheimer of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia Medical Centers notes in a December 2010 article in the "New York Daily News" that no studies confirm this belief.

Minerals

A serving of two waffles provides iron in your diet -- 10 to 20 percent of the iron you should consume daily. This mineral promotes oxygen delivery in your body, and without adequate amounts of iron, you may develop anemia. This condition results in decreased immune function and fatigue. You can boost iron content in waffles by cooking them in a cast iron press, according to Go Ask Alice! Evidence published in the July 2006 issue of the "Journal of Food Science" indicates that cast iron cookware adds iron to foods cooked in it.

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