Susan Lucci Reveals the 3 Foods She Eats Every Day Since Having 2 Heart Operations

The daytime TV legend, who's now an ambassador for the American Heart Association, had heart surgery in 2018 and 2022

<p>Stewart Cook/CBS via Getty</p> Susan Lucci

Stewart Cook/CBS via Getty

Susan Lucci

Susan Lucci puts her heart into clean eating.

After having two heart surgeries in the past five years, the All My Children alum makes sure to always buy salmon, blueberries and kale when visiting the grocery store.

"My doctor told me, ‘You keep doing what you’re doing because something good will come from that,’” the daytime TV legend, 77, told Fox News, explaining that she sticks to the Mediterranean diet.

“I do have the occasional pasta and carbs,” said Lucci, who's now an ambassador for the American Heart Association. “I love cheese, but I don’t eat much of it, hardly ever. I love ice cream, but I moderate it. It’s all about moderation.”

She tries to avoid foods high in cholesterol, which was not something she always did.

<p>Kevin Winter/Getty</p> Susan Lucci

Kevin Winter/Getty

Susan Lucci

“My husband was an executive chef trained in Europe,” she said of her late husband Helmut Huber. “I remember I would eat everything that he was cooking. It was like monopoly food. And I did build up cholesterol.”

Lucci transitioned to a diet full of superfoods — and practices daily pilates — which is why she initially ignored her heart symptoms.

In Oct. 2018, she started feeling intense chest pressure "like an elephant pressing down" and pain around her rib cage. "Like most women, I thought, 'I have too much to do. It will go away.' I didn't want to bother the cardiologist," she told PEOPLE in March 2023. "We take care of our children, we are advocates for our loved ones, but we're not at the top of our own to-do list."

Related: Susan Lucci on Her 2 Heart Procedures: 'I Didn't Realize How Close I Came to a Fatal Heart Attack'

A scan revealed a 90% blockage in the main artery to her heart: "I didn't realize how close I came to a fatal heart attack," she said of needing emergency surgery and a stent inserted in her heart, which is a tube that helps keep the passageway open. Her condition turned out to be genetic ("hereditary from my dad's side") and doctors put in two stents.

In January 2022, after indulging in lots of "comfort food" during the pandemic — "not my normal way of eating," she said, Lucci had another major scare.

The medical team subsequently discovered an 80 percent artery blockage — this time caused by cholesterol — and inserted another stent in her heart to open the blockage after she was rushed to the cardiac catheterization lab.

Now feeling healthy, Lucci wants to remind other women to pay attention to the signs.

"My message for women is to listen to your body," she told Fox News. "Always put yourself on your to-do list. We don’t even put ourselves on the list. I’m lucky I’m here to tell my story."

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