According to, a trifecta, in horse racing terminology, is a “parimutuel bet in which the bettor must predict which horses will finish first, second, and third in exact order.”

Thomas H. Maugh II, in the Los Angeles Times, uses the term to describe three  conditions that can increase your chance of getting cardiovascular disease: high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Maugh’s article points out that, according to the National Centers For Disease Control, almost half of adult Americans suffer from one or more of these potentially life-threatening conditions.

Diabetes can have symptoms, such as excessive thirst. But as you conduct your normal life, you may not know you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. That’s why hypertension is called the “silent killer.”

After reading Maugh’s piece in the Times, I got to thinking about what control we have over our lives. If we look at tomorrow, we have no idea if we’re going to have a good day. We have no idea if we can avoid an auto accident. There is no way of knowing if someone in our family will suffer a medical crisis. We just don’t know what tomorrow will bring. That’s life in a nutshell. What we do have control over is what we choose to eat and whether or not we exercise.  When it comes down to it,  exercise and eating habits have so much to do with the trifecta of high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes.