Managing Taste Changes

Certain types of chemotherapy can alter the receptors in your mouth and nose and change the way food tastes; this is called dysgeusia. People often report bitter, rancid, or metallic taste sensations and sometimes disliking foods that used to be favorites. Each person’s taste is affected differently, and it’s important to take an individual approach to management by experimenting with a variety of foods and flavors. Luckily this side effect typically only lasts as long as treatment, and usually, taste will return to normal a few months after completion.

Tips for Managing Altered Taste:

  • If meats and poultry taste metallic, try other protein sources such as beans, fish, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
  • Foods have less flavor when they are cold. Try eating things that have been cooled in the refrigerator or frozen. Frozen grapes or melon balls are great options, in addition to cold smoothies.
  • Brush your teeth and tongue regularly, and rinse your mouth several times per day with a water and baking soda solution (one quart water mixed with one tablespoon of baking soda).
  • Tart foods or sour candies can stimulate the production of saliva, which may improve taste sensation
  • Use plastic or wooden utensils if you experience metallic taste.

Contact Us

Nutrition Services

Dubin Breast Center
The Mount Sinai Hospital
Klingenstein Pavilion
1176 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Tel: 212-241-3300, option 4
212-241-0741