The 3 “Highs” is not a death sentence!

According to Dr Wu’s recent blog on 3 “highs” is not a death sentence, many of her patients believed that once they have the “3 highs”, they are on their way to their grave! Well, while there is some truth to it, the “3 highs” markedly increase one’s cardiovascular risk, but it is not a death sentence! 「3高」不是死刑!  The risk of cardiovascular death can be reduced with Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and medications when needed.

Why do people fear the “3 highs”?

The 3 ‘high’sDiseases they can lead to
High blood pressureHypertension
High cholesterolHyperlipidemia
High blood sugarDiabetes
*The risk for cardiovascular disease increases with every one “high”.

When the numbers are elevated but not to the level of the definition of disease, lifestyle modification is the most important treatment, Dr Wu stressed. Let’s use high blood pressure as an example. Normal blood pressure for a normal weight adult is around 110/70. When the reading is over 130/80, then they have hypertension. Before it gets to hypertension, it is elevated blood pressure.  At this stage, eating healthily, exercising and losing some weight are key in preventing or slowing down the disease progression.  

Lifestyle changes that can save your life are 💖:

Eat a variety of whole and fresh foods everyday. Frozen, canned or dried nutritious foods are equally good to use. Read label on the package and choose the most natural ones with less ingredients, and keep a check on fat, salt and sugar content.  
🌈Enjoy a rainbow color of fruits and vegetables to achieve a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals.  5 A Day (five servings of fruits and vegetables per day) is a good start. 🍓🍒🍎🥦🍆
Choose a variety of options from each food group 
* High fiber starchy foods🌾
* Low fat dairy or dairy alternatives such as soya drinks 🐄 🥛
* Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other lean protein. Among protein foods, consume plant-based more often; such as legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu, fortified soy beverage. Stay tuned for plant based diet. 🥚🥜
* Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts.  🥑
* Fluids 6-8 cups per day. Water should be the beverage of choice.  💦
Pay attention to portion size.  
Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugar, saturated fat and sodium; ie. eat less processed foods.
Stop smoking. 🚭
If you drink, limit alcohol to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, according to CDC and NHS. 🍷 A good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days each week.
People at high risk of or with cardiovascular disease who are overweight or obese, seek advice and support to work towards achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
Resources: American Dietary Guidelines,  Canada’s Food GuideUK Eat Well Guide

If you find the above information useful and willing to start making lifestyle changes,🙋 I am here to help you. Feel free to contact me for 1:1 consultation or group sessions. 

About medications 💊

According to Dr Wu, many people hesitate do take medication and always bargain with physicians for more time for TLC (not tender loving care, but therapeutic lifestyle changes). Actually, the need to start medication does not mean that you failed. It is actually an adjunct to the overall treatment and to reduce your overall cardiovascular risk. So when your doctor prescribes medications for you, they are not just treating the numbers, they want to protect your internal organs, like your brain, heart, kidneys, etc, as well as your overall health. The numbers are just a barometer that represents the state of your body. So, please take the medications as Dr prescribed.

About Dr Wu👩‍⚕️:

A chance encounter with my cousin Dr Wu online, we came to realize that we both started blogging! So, we thought it would be a great idea to collaborate and write about nutrition and health. She is a retired physician while I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, so hopefully we can help our readers achieve a healthier life. We hope that you will be interested in learning more about the 3 “highs” and have the incentive to further improve your lifestyle by subscribing to our blogs, follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Do not hesitate to ask questions! Don’t forget to visit my cousin Dr Wu’s blog for other interesting posts. 

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