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Scott Hamilton Shares His Strict Tumor-Fighting Diet — And Where Gets His Fast Food Fix

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When Scott Hamilton’s surgeon informed him that his brain tumor, detected six months earlier, had unexpectedly shrunk, he knew he’d experienced a “miracle.”

Even his physician seemed to hint as much when the Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater asked him to explain how his benign pituitary tumor could have gotten smaller without any treatment.

His reply wasn’t what the athlete – diagnosed with three benign pituitary tumors in 12 years – expected to hear.

“God,” the surgeon told him.

Hamilton, who had begun relying on Christianity to help him through his earlier health struggles, including his battle with stage 4 testicular cancer in 1997, is now doing everything he can to stay healthy.

Scott Hamilton/Instagram

And that includes cleaning up his diet.

“Tumors like sugar,” Hamilton says in an interview that appears in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. (Watch the full episode of the Jess Cagle Interview: Scott Hamilton Today, available now on the new People / Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN).) “Sugar is bad.”

So Hamilton gave up soda and now just drinks water – after starting his day with coffee.

“I thought, ‘Okay, I can do this,’ ” he says. “I still do natural sugar, like in fruit. But I’m carrying less weight, and I’m more active, and I can feel energy throughout the day. It’s like, ‘Oh, wow.’ You have no idea.”

Breakfast includes gluten-free oatmeal, made with almond milk or goat’s milk, and some fruit. “Then I just keep it lean the rest of the day with fish and vegetables,” says Hamilton, who became an overnight celebrity after winning Olympic gold in 1984.

His diet these days revolves around Mexican food, salads, sushi and “any Asian food that you put in front of me.”

But, he admits, “there are  some fas -food places I can’t really resist – but they’re on the healthier side … I like Chipotle a lot … and Moe’s Southwest Grill. My kids love that place, so I like to go there.”