How to reduce high cholesterol by eating like your ancestors and avoiding hydrogenated oils (part 1)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
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A reader asks: "Can you please tell me if the use of honey and cinnamon powder can help reduce cholesterol in the blood? If so, how to use it and for how long?"

To answer this question, let me rephrase it into another question: Can you tell me if honey and cinnamon powder can reduce my cholesterol without me making any other changes in my life? And if that is the question being asked here, the answer is an unqualified no.

It's important to note that the very formation of this question is allopathic in nature: it is questioning whether a symptom that is often labeled a disease -- high cholesterol -- can be counteracted by the use of a specific medicinal herb or phytonutrients (in this case, honey and cinnamon). This mindset, this very approach to answering this question, is a western medicine approach. It is conventional in nature, it is allopathic, and it is really the wrong approach to answering this question. So let me formulate a different question, and we'll come back around to the issue of honey and cinnamon.

A different question would be: How can I naturally enhance my cardiovascular health in a way that automatically results in healthy cholesterol levels in my body?

That is the question that a naturopath would be asking him or herself. That's the kind of question that a person who wanted to have healthy cholesterol levels really should be asking, because it's inappropriate to label high cholesterol a disease -- it really isn't a disease, it's a symptom. It's one measurable side effect of pursuing a lifestyle that leads to cardiovascular disease -- and by lifestyle here, I mean choice of foods and choice of exercise frequency and duration, choice of which beverages to consume, choice of whether or not to smoke cigarettes, and so on.

So, to answer this question, balancing cholesterol levels in the human body is fairly straightforward -- there's no mystery about this. I often laugh at all of the money being poured into medical research and how the pharmaceutical companies claim they are spending billions of dollars to find the cures for diseases like high cholesterol, when the answers are actually very simple and are preprogrammed into your body right now. The way to have healthy, balanced cholesterol is simple: live the way your ancestors lived.

How did your ancestors live? Well, they certainly didn't eat any processed foods or manufactured foods. They didn't drink soft drinks, they did not consume fried foods, and they didn't have access to any ingredients such as the hydrogenated oils you might find in margarine products. Your ancestors also spent a lot of time outside, under the sun. They got natural sunlight, they got fresh air, and they moved their bodies on a regular basis. Every day they were up and around, moving, walking, foraging, socializing, talking, lifting things, moving their joints and fingers, moving their lymph fluid, and increasing joint flexibility. They were doing all of these things on a daily basis. They also ate fresh, unprocessed foods. They would eat roots, nuts, berries --occasionally they would have meat products. They would have lots of leaves, such as salad leaves or wild herbs. Now, you may say, okay, I understand that -- ancestors had healthy cholesterol levels, but we don't live in the caveman days. I don't have a forest that I can forage through on a daily basis. I have a 9-5 job where I sit behind a desk and I sit under fluorescent lights all day. I've got a vending machine down the hall that serves Snickers bars and Pepsi, and that's pretty much all I've got. So how do I lower my cholesterol in that situation? Will honey and cinnamon work for me? And to that I would still say you have more options than you think. You can still eat in a healthful way in modern society. In fact, today it is far easier for us to eat healthy than it was for our ancestors. That's because we have the convenience of grocery stores where a diverse collection of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds are available to us that would never have been available to our ancestors in any one region. The very fact that you can buy bananas at a grocery store is a small miracle, because bananas don't grow well in North America. If you live in Chicago, for example, and you're buying bananas, you are experiencing a minor miracle, because those bananas grow in South and Central America. Your ancestors didn't even know what a banana was if they were living in the same region as you are living today.

So, as a modern consumer, you have access to fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, soy products and superfoods, spirulina and microalgae, broccoli sprouts and things that your ancestors never would have dreamed of. You have the potential today to be a far healthier human being than your ancestors ever dreamed of being. That's because we have the conveniences of modern food, and I'm not talking about processed food or manufactured food -- I'm talking about the convenience of food distribution and delivery systems, so that when you go the grocery store, you can get fresh fruits and vegetables right there, without having to go out and farm them yourself. That's a miracle.

So, one thing that you can do, no matter what your job, no matter what vending machines are down the hall, is you can switch your food choice. Even if you go out to eat, you can order salads (like a salad with salmon on top), instead of ordering the lasagna or the burger. You can avoid french fries, no matter where you go.

You can also choose to avoid all hydrogenated oils, that is, start reading the labels on all the foods at the grocery store. Avoid any foods made with hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils. This ingredient directly causes high cholesterol. Foods made with hydrogenated oils lower your good cholesterol and raise your bad cholesterol. These foods directly promote both cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders. They've been called "brain poison" by doctors and authors, including Mary Dan Eades, who wrote The Protein Power Life Plan. These foods are deadly foods, and this is a deadly ingredient that will kill you if you continue to eat it.

... continued in part 2

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About the author: Mike Adams is a consumer health advocate and award-winning journalist with a mission to teach personal and planetary health to the public He has authored more than 1,800 articles and dozens of reports, guides and interviews on natural health topics, and he has published numerous courses on preparedness and survival, including financial preparedness, emergency food supplies, urban survival and tactical self-defense. Adams is an honest, independent journalist and accepts no money or commissions on the third-party products he writes about or the companies he promotes. In 2010, Adams co-founded, a natural health video sharing site that has now grown in popularity. He also launched an online retailer of environmentally-friendly products ( and uses a portion of its profits to help fund non-profit endeavors. He's also a veteran of the software technology industry, having founded a personalized mass email software product used to deliver email newsletters to subscribers. Adams volunteers his time to serve as the executive director of the Consumer Wellness Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and practices nature photography, Capoeira, martial arts and organic gardening. He's also author of numerous health books published by Truth Publishing and is the creator of several consumer-oriented grassroots campaigns, including the Spam. Don't Buy It! campaign, and the free downloadable Honest Food Guide. He also created the free reference sites and Adams believes in free speech, free access to nutritional supplements and the ending of corporate control over medicines, genes and seeds. Known on the 'net as 'the Health Ranger,' Adams shares his ethics, mission statements and personal health statistics at

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