Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Taste alterations

Sometimes cancer treatment causes temporary changes in the way foods taste. Some foods might taste like tin or taste bland, or have other unpleasant tastes. Taste changes can affect your appetite and desire for food. Use some of the suggestions below to make food taste more desirable:

  • Eat with plastic utensils.
  • Marinate meats with sweet marinades or sauces.
  • Offer salty or unsalted foods.
  • Serve food chilled rather than hot.
  • If foods taste bland, use extra seasonings, spices and flavorings.
  • Drink lemon-flavored drinks to stimulate saliva and taste.
  • Keep the mouth clean with rinsing and brushing.

Try to avoid the following:

  • Red meats
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea