Short term memory loss is one of the first indications of impaired brain function due to aging. Recent studies have linked belly fat in your 40’s to a higher rate of dementia as early as your 60’s. My grandmother lived to be 92 and was sharp as a tack to the end. My great grandmother spent her final years in restraints, screaming non-stop. The difference: before great-grandma shrank down to skin and bones, she did her clothes shopping in the “husky” section of the dry goods store. On the other hand, my grandmother was always average size. Since my anecdotal evidence totally supports the scientific findings, I think we can agree that overweight Americans are mentally doomed.
Since the introduction of margarine in 1910 the death rate from heart attack in the U.S. has increased from 3,000 in 1930 to half a million in 1960. Since free radicals are also swimming in trans-fat (they prefer the breast stroke), anti-aging experts agree that if you eat chocolate éclairs or cheesecake and survive to old age, your heart may be beating the odds, but the free radicals will leave you looking like Chloris Leachman on a good day.
At a relatively early age, my blood pressure started going up. I had followed in my mother’s footsteps when cooking, which necessitated buying a salt mine to make one meatloaf. Since salt was destined to melt my neurons down faster than Chernobyl, I faced the choice between flavor and both halves of my brain functioning. My family is already questioning my brain function, so I can’t afford to lose any more gray matter. It would be pretty embarrassing to have a stroke and nobody notices a difference.
Going from a high salt diet to a low salt diet was quite a shock to my taste buds. I decided that it was definitely a good time for some self-pity. Low fat dieters have fat-free foods available that increase their salt content to masquerade as real food. Low sodium dieters have a choice of bland or blander. Most prepared foods are high in salt, so forget about my specialty: boxed macaroni and cheese.
For those who have both high blood pressure and high cholesterol, prepare for a diet of plain oatmeal and styrofoam packing peanuts. You’ll live longer, but why would you want to?