A Delicious Way to Invest in your Family’s Cardiovascular Health this Cholesterol Education Month

(BPT) – Heart health is an important issue for everyone but is a particular concern for the Hispanic community. According to the American Heart Association, 52% of Hispanic men and 43% of Hispanic women nationwide have a form of heart disease, which can often lead to death.

Celebrity chef, cookbook author and “Despierta América” star Jesus Diaz (AKA Chef Yisus) personally knows that behind these statistics are tragic family stories. Having recently lost his own mother due to related health issues, Chef Yisus is helping to spread awareness on this issue and urge the Hispanic community to think about what they consume in their day-to-day. That’s why in honor of Cholesterol Education Month, he’s teamed up with Mazola® Corn Oil to share easy-to-make recipes anyone can make, like the following Reina Pepiada Arepas, which replaces lard with corn oil.

A simple and effective change you can make this Cholesterol Education Month is to simply replace lard, butter, margarine or other higher saturated fat oils with heart-healthy1 Mazola® Corn Oil, which has natural cholesterol-blocking plant sterols that can help protect you from bad cholesterol2. In fact, Corn Oil has the highest amount of naturally occurring plant sterols per serving compared to any other popular cooking oil, containing three times more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than olive oil and 40% more than canola oil3, a win-win for the whole family!

Reina Pepiada arepas

Prep time: 10-15 minutes; Cook time: 45 minutes; Servings: 6



  • 2 cups of precooked white cornmeal flour
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup of Mazola® Corn Oil

Chicken-Avocado Salad (Filling)

  • 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 medium white or red onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper



  1. Preheat the oven to 305°F.
  2. Combine the arepa flour with the salt and the water in a large bowl. Spread your fingers apart and make a claw with one hand and start circling the flour mixture. Make a fist a couple of times to bring the clumps of dough together, then squeeze to break apart any remaining larger dough pebbles.
  3. Poke a couple of holes in the dough and add the 1/4 cup of Mazola® Corn Oil, then knead again. The goal is to get the dough dry enough so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the side of the bowl, but not so dry that it cracks when you squeeze a little chunk of it between your fingers. If necessary, add 2 more tablespoons of water and knead to combine one more time.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium heat and lightly spread with a Mazola® oiled paper towel.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces — each should weigh about 4 1/2 ounces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten into a disk about 3 1/2 inches wide and 1 inch tall.
  6. Working in batches, if necessary, place the disks in a single layer in the skillet and cook until a golden-brown crust has formed on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side, 5 minutes more. Re-oil the skillet for each additional batch.
  7. Place the arepas directly on the oven racks and bake until crusty all over and the insides feel slightly hollowed out, 20 to 25 minutes.

Chicken-Avocado Salad (Filling)

  1. Combine the avocado and lime juice in a medium bowl and mix, mashing the avocado with a fork as necessary.
  2. Stir in the onion, chicken, cilantro, a sprinkle of pepper and a generous sprinkle of salt.
  3. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  4. Serve on top or in the arepas.

To view this recipe (and others), find more inspiration, and learn more about how you can incorporate heart-healthy1 Mazola® Corn Oil into recipes this Cholesterol Education Month, visit www.Mazola.com.


1Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of Corn Oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in Corn Oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, Corn Oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of Corn Oil.

2USDA FoodData Central (2019). Corn oil has plant sterols content of 135.6 mg/serving vs. 29.8 mg/serving for olive oil. Based on analysis of corn oil and April 2019 USDA FoodData Central data for olive oil.

3Based on analysis of corn oil and 2013 USDA comparison of other cooking oils: Corn Oil has plant sterols content of 135.6 mg/serving vs. 30.0 mg/serving for Olive Oil, 40.8 mg/serving for Vegetable Oil and 93.9 mg/serving for Canola Oil.