Pass the salt: coping with aging tastebuds

June 4, 2016 6:09 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If, like many older people, you’ve started to feel that your normal food tastes ‘blander’ – and found yourself reaching more frequently for the salt cellar or sugar bowl – you might be interested in some tips to make sure that your diet stays healthy! Our tastebuds stop regenerating as we age, meaning that food can taste really quite different to when we were younger. The trouble is, in our search for the same hit of ‘flavour’, we can end up taking in too much salt or sugar – which is bad news for our diet in other respects.

We look at some alternatives for sugar and salt.

Don’t overdo the sugar in the search for flavour!

Pass on the salt

Worried about eating too much salt? Try these ideas to relieve a bland diet instead.

  • Eat food that’s as fresh as possible, so that it has as much flavour as possible.
  • Stay away from heavily processed foods: don’t accidentally take on too much salt through these.
  • Use spices to give your food that ‘zing’ it used to have, without an overdose of salt. When you find you’re craving something salty, try a spicy meal instead, with cumin seeds, fresh coriander and turmeric. Similarly, cayenne pepper and paprika should manage to make a meal sing for even the most weary tastebuds.
  • Pepper and salt: rather than the other way round! A grinding of really good quality black peppercorns (such as those we sell at Naturally Good Food) brings a complex aroma and flavour to a dish, without the need for lots of added salt.
  • These peppercorns give a complex aroma and taste

    More pepper, less salt

  • Try some of our alternative salts – such as Cornish Seaweed Salt. They’re still salty, but you might find that a little of these goes a lot further.
  • Think about ‘mouth feel’ as much as simple flavour. A range of textures can make a meal much more interesting.

And the sugar…

All of the illnesses and diseases that excessive sugar consumption can contribute to become more likely as we age. At Naturally Good Food we stock a wide range of natural sugar alternatives. Take a look here and see which ones might work for you. But don’t overdo it, even with these!

We’ve gleaned some other tips too:

  • Spices can provide a touch of taste in place of extra sugar. Think of including cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice in your cakes.
  • Spice up your meals without excess salt or sugar!

    Spices are a good substitute for both salt and sugar

  • Check that it’s definitely sugar you’re craving. Could the creaminess of a yoghurt work just as well?
  • As with salt, stay away from packaged, processed foods as much as possible, choosing fresh produce wherever you can.

It’s not all bad news!

Our tastes have probably ‘matured’ just as we have – so dark chocolate, with less sugar than milk chocolate, might well be our preferred option. And although we’re old, we can still learn to adjust our tastes. If we cut down gradually on salt in our meals, our tastebuds will adapt – even if not so quickly as those of a young person!




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This post was written by Yzanne

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