Tamales Nutrition Facts

Calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrate values for Tamales.


There are 247 calories in Tamales.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size:


piece (142 grams)

Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 116
Calories 247

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 13 grams

Saturated Fat 3.8 grams

Trans Fat 0.1 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.9 grams
Monounsaturated Fat 4.6 grams

Cholesterol 28 milligrams

Sodium 672 milligrams

Potassium 216 milligrams

Total Carbohydrates 22 grams

Dietary Fiber 3.4 grams

Sugars 0.7 grams
Protein 10 grams

Vitamin A


Vitamin C





Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Food / Beverages > Grocery > Prepared & Preserved Foods > Dough Based Products

How long would it take to burn off 250 KCal?
Walking (3mph) 67 minutes
Running (6mph) 24 minutes
Bicycling (10mph) 34 minutes
Values estimated based on person weighing 140 lbs.

Additional Information

Tamales are a popular and traditional dish that has captured the hearts and taste buds of people around the world. Originating in Mexico, tamales are a corn-based delicacy filled with a variety of flavorful ingredients. Whether enjoyed as a snack, an entree, or a festive treat, tamales offer a unique culinary experience. In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and drawbacks of these delicious treats.

Features of Tamales

Tamales are unique in their preparation and presentation. The corn-based dough, known as masa, is carefully spread on corn husks or banana leaves. Fillings are varied and may include spiced meats such as chicken or pork, accompanied by vegetables such as potatoes, corn, peppers, or carrots. Cheese, dried fruit, and olives are also commonly added to further enhance the flavor profile. Once the filling is added, the tamale is carefully rolled and steamed to perfection, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish.

Benefits of Tamales

  1. Nutritional Value: Tamales provide a number of beneficial nutrients. They are a good source of protein, providing 10 grams per serving. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting a healthy immune system, and maintaining overall well-being. Tamales also contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, tamales provide essential micronutrients such as folate, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and iron.
  2. Versatility: Tamales can be customized to meet individual preferences and dietary needs. The variety of fillings allows for endless possibilities, catering to meat lovers and vegetarians alike. Whether you prefer a spicy kick or a milder flavor, there is a tamale to satisfy every palate.
  3. Cultural significance: Tamales have a deep cultural significance in Mexican cuisine and are often associated with special occasions and celebrations. They bring people together, fostering a sense of community and shared traditions. Enjoying tamales can be a wonderful way to connect with Mexican culture and appreciate its rich culinary heritage.

Disadvantages of tamales

  1. High Calorie Content: While tamales offer numerous nutritional benefits, it is important to be mindful of portion sizes. Tamales can be high in calories due to the corn masa and filling ingredients. One tamale can contain about 247 calories, with 13 grams of fat. Eating too many can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. Moderation is the key to enjoying these delicious treats.
  2. Sodium content: Tamales often contain sodium-rich ingredients such as spiced meats and sauces. Excessive sodium intake can lead to high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems. It is advisable to watch your overall sodium intake and balance it with other low-sodium foods.
  3. Preparation Time: Traditional tamale preparation can be time consuming and requires patience and skill. From preparing the masa to assembling and steaming the tamales, the process can be labor intensive. This may discourage some people from trying to make tamales at home.


Tamales are a delicious and nutritious culinary treasure that offer a unique taste experience. With their variety of fillings, cultural significance, and nutritional value, tamales have earned a special place on the plates of food lovers around the world. While they may have drawbacks in terms of calorie and sodium content, enjoying tamales in moderation can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. So don’t hesitate to explore the world of tamales and enjoy the flavors of this popular Mexican dish.

Questions and Answers

What is usually in a tamale?

Most tamales have elaborate, slow-cooked, seasoned meat fillings (usually chicken or pork), sometimes with vegetables (potatoes, corn, peppers, or carrots), cheese, dried fruit, and olives.

What are tamales in Mexican cuisine?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made from a corn-based dough mixture filled with various meats or beans and cheese. Tamales are wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves and cooked, but the husks are removed before eating. Try them with pico de gallo on top and a side of guacamole and rice.

What is a tamale and how is it eaten?

A Mexican food favorite, tamales are a main dish usually served in banana or plantain leaves, or alternatively, corn husks, stuffed with fillings such as chili, salsa, vegetables, cheese, or meat. Traditional tamale recipes call for a paste of freshly ground corn to form a kind of wrapper.

What is a real tamale made of?

Some tamales are made from a paste of freshly ground corn, while others are made from nixtamalized and dried corn that is then mixed into a dough. Most Mexican tamales contain a savory filling of meat or vegetables, but sweet tamales filled with dried fruit are also popular, and some tamales contain no filling at all.

Why are tamales so good?

Tamales provide healthy micronutrients, including folate, vitamin A, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. Adding chili peppers can give tamales an extra kick, and the capsaicin in hot peppers may help support vascular and metabolic health. Their variety of fillings and cultural significance make tamales a popular and flavorful dish enjoyed by many.