Since the primary ingredient in pancakes is flour, carbohydrates make up the majority of the calories contained in pancakes. The incorporation of eggs, buttermilk and oil contribute an insignificant amount of fat and protein. Nutritional information is provided for plain pancakes measuring 6 inches in diameter. However, the addition of supplemental ingredients, such as chocolate chips, fresh fruit, butter and syrup, may significantly impact the pancake's nutritional content.
According to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory, one pancake contains 149 calories. Seventy-six percent of those calories are from carbohydrates, 11 percent are from protein and the remaining 13 percent constitute calories derived from fat. Since the average American prefers to enjoy pancakes with syrup and butter, this must also be factored into the equation. One pancake with 2 tbsp. of syrup and 2 tbsp. of butter makes the calorie count climb to 355. The calories from carbohydrates and protein have been reduced while the calories from fat have increased to 34 percent.
Carbohydrates & Fiber
The carbohydrate content of one pancake is high, and its fiber content is low. One pancake has 28.26 g of carbohydrates and 1 g of fiber. Although the fiber content is low, pancake recipes may be altered to increase fiber. Adding a few tablespoons of chia seeds or flaxseeds will give the pancakes a fiber boost. Furthermore, whole-wheat pancakes make a suitable substitute for plain pancakes -- one whole-wheat pancake contains 3.6 g of fiber.
Protein & Fat
One pancake has 4 g of protein and 1.9 g of fat. While these numbers appear low, many individuals opt to eat two or three pancakes at a time, doubling or tripling the amount of protein and fat. However, if one pancake is enough, consider adding a side of eggs to the dish to get an adequate intake of protein. To incorporate more protein and healthy fats into the breakfast, consider swapping butter, which is high in artery-clogging saturated fats, with almond butter.
Minerals & Vitamins
Pancakes are abundant in minerals and vitamins -- in particular, phosphorus, selenium and B vitamins. One pancake satisfies 37 percent of the daily allowance of phosphorus and 19 percent of the daily allowance of selenium. Phosphorus is essential for bone and tooth health while selenium is a type of antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing cellular harm to your body. B vitamins, such as riboflavin and thiamin, promote a healthy nervous system and stimulate the production of red blood cells.