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Too Sweet or too Salty?

      11-19-2010 3:35 PM

Taste changes during cancer treatment are a common side effect.  Taste changes can vary with the kind of treatment you are receiving and can be different for each person.  Many times taste changes vary from week to week.  There are several different tricks that you can try to help improve the taste of food and avoid unwelcome flavors.  Trying various types of foods can help you find foods that taste better.  Keep a food diary so you have a list of foods that taste good and those that don't.

If salty foods taste good or foods taste too sweet, try these foods: 
  • salted crackers or pretzels 
  • instant or canned soups 
  • pre-seasoned rice mixes 
  • salted peanut butter 
  • instant oriental noodles 
  • dried potato mixes 
  • strong cheese 
  • tomato juice 
  • cottage cheese 
  • pickles 
  • olives 
  • ham or corned beef 
  • mashed potatoes and gravy 
  • salted nuts and snack foods 
  • soda water or pop 
If sweet foods taste better or foods taste too salty, try these foods: 
  • cakes or pastries with icing 
  • pudding or trifle 
  • cookies with filling 
  • fruit flavored yogurt 
  • ice-cream or sherbet 
  • chocolate milk 
  • sugar donuts 
  • pancakes with syrup 
  • marshmallows 
  • milkshakes or eggnog 
  • hot milk with honey 
  • fruit canned in syrup 
  • gelatin with sweetened whipped cream 
  • sugar coated cereal (dry or with milk) 
  • honey garlic or mustard sauces 
Other tricks you might try if food is too sweet would be to add a pinch of salt to foods like fruit or pudding.  If juices or other beverages taste too sweet dilute them with water.  You can also make things less salty if you add a pinch of sugar or dab of honey.  Try to find food in the store that is lower in sodium or has no added salt to help with the salty flavor.  Taste changes may happen but with a little experimentation they can taste less salty or less sweet.

Taste like metal?  Come back next month to find out how to neutralize metallic flavors. 
Page last updated: 9/30/2013 1:55:33 PM