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Changes in taste may be related to illness or can be a side effect of treatment. It is usually temporary and should improve once treatment has finished and you are well.

You may find that food and drinks have no taste, taste different or taste unusually salty or sweet. This can make eating difficult and even unpleasant, but it is still important to eat well.

Useful tips:

  • Discover which food and drink tastes good to you and adapt your diet to cope with the taste changes. Trial and error might be the answer! If meat or fish tastes different, try marinating in sauces or dressings such as fruit juices, chutney, oriental-style sauces or honey to improve the flavour

  • If foods taste bland, try adding herbs and spices in cooking such as basil, oregano, mint, rosemary or chilli

  • You may find tart or sharp food and drinks have more taste and can be refreshing. For example, citrus flavoured desserts

  • Sometimes cold, bland food may be more palatable than hot food

  • Keep your mouth clean, especially after eating and drinking. This should remove any unpleasant tastes and keep your mouth fresh

  • Your taste may alter over the course of your treatment

  • Your taste will hopefully return to normal so remember to retry new foods after a few weeks.

Please note: if you also have a sore mouth some of the suggestions may not be suitable, please refer to the ‘Dry Sore Mouth’ leaflet.

This information is for general advice only. If you have been advised to follow a special diet then continue with this. For further advice speak to your Doctor, Nurse or Dietitian.


Last updated 2012