Sexy is Not Necessarily Healthy, Take it From Queen Pia Wurtzbach

A doctor explains how.
Photo/s: @piawurtzbach/Instagram

Pia Wurtzbach is drunk in love in Dubai with travel influencer boyfriend Jeremy Jauncey, but for one of their first meals since their Middle East rendezvous, she had white fish with vegetables. The former Miss Universe later confessed to fans that beneath her fit appearance, she's dealing with familiar health issues.

Queen P has high cholesterol and only recently acknowledged her lactose intolerance. This means she won't be feasting during her workation. She is commited to working out, even if her fitness buff beau is not looking.

"Starting the day with a good workout. Akalain mo 'yun, mataas daw cholesterol ko kaya eto double time na sa pagseseryoso. Kahit naman anong itsura mo sa panlabas e kung mataas cholesterol mo, paano na?" she said.

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She also shared a recent lightbulb moment: coffee always upsets her stomach because she has it with milk.

"I'm sharing this to let you guys know na minsan wala talaga sa panlabas na itsura 'yung kalagayan ng katawan mo. Listen to your body, make the necessary changes and your health will improve. Some these challenges are reversible," she said.

"I learned that consistency is key sa pagiging healthy. Hindi phases, hindi taas baba, dapat lifestyle na talaga siya," she said.

Wurtzbach's weight has been the subject of scrutiny among pageant fans. She admitted to not being at her best form when she won Binibining Pilipinas-Universe in 2015 and later got ripped yet still curvy to win the country's third Miss Universe crown in December that year.

Last January, Wurtzbach said in an Instagram post that she was doing an 18:6 intermittent fasting, meaning 18 hours fasting with six hours window for feeding, while doing fasted workouts.

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One month later, the 31-year-old said she sometimes eats "without logic and restraint," and promised to eat clean on weekdays while feasting on weekends so she won't deprive herself of food. She is also a body positivity advocate, and at one point flaunted her stretch marks and cellulites while wearing a bikini.

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How do slim people get high cholesterol?

Weight is not the only basis for high cholesterol and even thin people can get it, said Dr. Giselle Gervacio, an active cardiology consultant at the Philippine General Hospital and St. Luke's Medical Center.

High cholesterol is when a person has too much cholesterol in the blood, which could clog blood vessels leading to heart problems. It can be inherited, or could be the result of an unhealthy diet with lots of fat, Gervacio said. Sedentary lifestyles during the pandemic exacerbated this, she said.

"Lockdown has caused people to stay home, so less exercise, more stress-related eating, tapos more sleep deprivation, couple this with anxiety and depression," she said.

Smoking can also increase the risk of bad cholesterol as it damages the walls of the blood vessels, which makes it prone to accumulating fatty deposits, Mayo Clinic said.

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Heart diseases remained the leading cause of death in the Philippines in pandemic year 2020, just like the year before, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.

Gervacio, who is also a fitness advocate, urged people to work out more to help reduce high cholesterol. Exercising for 45 minutes every other day or getting 10,000 steps a day can help, she said.

Shifting from a diet high in saturated fats to a plant- or fish-based diet can also help keep cholesterol level low. People should also get enough rest, she said.

"Pag puyat ka, the tendency really is to put on weight because stressed 'yung system," she said.

The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) released dietary guidelines on how to prevent heart diseases, recommending the following:

  • Prepare and eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber
  • Limit intake of salty foods
  • Always maintain an ideal weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Visit your doctor regularly
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