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The Truth About McDonald’s Hotcakes

We all know how impossibly fluffy and golden brown they are, and how they soak up any amount of syrup you can throw at them until they become sopping wet sponges of life-giving corn syrup and laboratory-invented maple flavoring. But that, friends, is only the beginning of the story. Here’s are a few things you might not know about McDonald’s pancakes.

It’s quite a sight: The perfect pile of fluffy buttermilk pancakes stacked three or four high, with real melted butter. Not a sad scrape from the top of a cold tub of Country Crock or chemical mishmashes of hydrogenated goo — the real deal.

McDonald’s — while not nearly as photogenic — seems to place a lot of pride in its inclusion of “real butter” with each order of its pancakes, and even makes sure to call it out on their menu. But their syrup is another story.

Unfortunately, it’s the customary blend of flavored corn syrup you’ll find in crummy diners nationwide. The restaurant’s website lists “natural flavors” in its table syrup blend, but we get the distinct feeling that, unlike the real stuff, no maple trees were harmed in its creation.

We don’t think that anyone who’s trying to cut calories and improve muscle tone is seriously considering sitting down to a massive platter of McDonald’s hotcakes every morning. But the nutritional information on McDonald’s hotcakes is particularly worrisome, even by ordinary pancake standards.

A standalone order of hotcakes including butter and syrup clocks in at 600 calories, with 16 grams of fat, 45 grams of sugar, and a whopping 102 grams of total carbohydrates.

And those numbers are before you add any tempting sides, or a big cup of orange juice. In fact, order your hotcakes as a part of McDonald’s “Big Breakfast with Hotcakes” along with a medium OJ, and you’re starting your day with 1550 calories, 65 grams of fat, 88 grams of sugar, and 201 grams of carbohydrates. Good morning? Good night.

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