According to a report out of KTSM, the NBC affiliate in El Paso, Texans might do well to limit their tamal intake over the holiday season.
The main issue is with the lard mixed with the masa that makes up the outside of the tamal. Not only is the fat bad for your arteries, but it also spikes the calorie-count to between 300 and 500 calories per tamal.
A trainer recommended skipping the lard and using canola oil or chicken broth for flavoring and to use chicken instead of pork as the filler.
Want to take it a step further, KTSM has several recipes for "healthier" tamales -- see them here.