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Are Tamales Good For Weight Loss? Nutritional Benefits Explored!

Tamales is a traditional Mexican holiday dish made of masa dough filled with meat, cheese, and other ingredients and steamed inside a corn husk or ...

by Susan Debicki

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

Tamales is a traditional Mexican holiday dish made of masa dough filled with meat, cheese, and other ingredients and steamed inside a corn husk or banana leaves usually served for lunch or dinner. If you are a fan of Mexican foods, then tamales can definitely be considered a valuable addition to your diet. Eating tamales in the new year is considered a tradition for Mexican people.

Not only are they a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and fibers, but they also symbolize ideas such as wealth and sustenance for Mexican American people. Since they are opulent with fibers and proteins, it is considered to be great for people suffering from diabetes. The major ingredient in tamales is corn which plays a major role in Mexican cuisine.

They not only contain micronutrients and many essential vitamins but are considered a cultural food that has been used for centuries. If your goal is to lose weight, there are numerous ways you can consume tamales but first, you need to be aware of its composition and the benefits. This article will provide you with an overview of how to consume tamales more healthily without compromising your fitness goals.

What Are Tamales Made Of?

Tamales are mostly made of freshly ground corn stuffed with meat or vegetables. Some people use dried corn to mix it into a dough. You may also come across sweet tamales with dried fruits as the inside filling and tamales with no filling at all. The dough made from ground corn is called masa which you can find almost everywhere in Mexico you can even make masa at home by mixing masa harina which is the flour made from dried corn with chicken broth.

Vegetarian Tamale Filling

Generally, the stuffing used for filling tamales is shredded pork, you can also use shredded beef if you prefer. Using rotisserie chicken is recommended best for making chicken tamales. There are also various options for vegetarian tamale filling.

For wrapping the masa, you can either use dried corn husks or banana leaves. The wrapping will hold the stuffing together while steaming the tamales. You will also require a large stock pot that consists of a lid and a strainer.

Health Benefits Of Tamales

Tamales are considered an incredible source of fiber which will help prevent any digestive-related issues making your bowel movements easier too. Consuming tamales can provide you with much-needed energy as they contain iron and phosphorus. They are also opulent with vitamins that can enhance blood circulation and reduce stress levels. Nevertheless, they are packed with proteins that support the process of repairing old cells and regeneration of new cells.

However, they usually use lard to prepare the dough of tamales which can often contain an increased amount of saturated fat, you can try replacing vegetable oil instead of lard if you prefer a healthier option.

Tamales And Weight Loss

Even though tamales are considered to be healthy, it is essential to note that they are rich in calories therefore they should be consumed with utmost care. While eating tamales, you should always be aware of the portion sizes. Eating a single tamale for a single meal is considered to be just fine but make sure to not exceed beyond that in just one sitting if your goal is to lose weight. 

You should also keep an eye on the ingredients while preparing tamales. Go for low-calorie fillings such as chicken and beans instead of beef and fatty cheese which are high in carbs, you can also replace lard with vegetable oil as mentioned earlier. Try incorporating a healthy balanced diet that includes nutrient-rich foods such as green veggies, salads, and proteins, eating tamales along with these can balance the downsides if there are any.

If consuming tamales can make up for your daily target diet, you can easily make them a part of your diet routine. You can even opt for healthier tamale recipes that include chicken, beans, and veggies to improve the health benefits and support weight loss.


If you want to lose weight and do not want to add any heavy dishes to break your diet, Tamales can be considered a delicious healthy choice to enjoy occasionally by carefully preparing with the help of lighter and nutritious ingredients.

The key is to control the portion sizes that you consume in just a sitting and choose the fillings that are low in calories. You can also try to incorporate them into your healthy diet plan without making much compromises at all. To sum up, you can try tamales to control your cravings while trying to lose weight. You just have to be mindful while you do.

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