You've been told time and again to eat more fruits and vegetables and you know they are healthier for you, yet you continue to consume too many burgers, donuts, ice cream, fast food and flavored coffee drinks. Why? One simple answer, they taste better.  Food manufacturers know that we crave fat, sugar, and salt and they have added more and more of these taste bud hijackers over the years.  This stops you from really appreciating the natural properties in food, taking your taste buds to taste duds.


The good news is our taste buds can be restored to enjoy the foods that are better for our bodies. Answer the eight questions below to find out if you have taste duds.

1. Do you like the taste of diet soda?

2. Do you like the taste of energy drinks?

3. Do you like the taste of microwave popcorn?

4. Have you ever had to salt the food you order from a restaurant?

5. Do you find yourself saying, "that is too sweet?"

6. Do you find yourself saying, "that is too salty?"

7. Do you taste sweetness in a cooked carrot or sweet potato?

8. Could a piece of dark chocolate satisfy your sweet tooth?


If you answered “No” to the first four questions and yes to all of the last 4 questions, your taste buds are performing beautifully!

If you answered “No” to the first 4 questions and “Yes” to at least one of the last 4 questions, you are in good shape. Keep decreasing the amount of sugar and salt in your diet until you can answer, “Yes” to all of the last 4 questions.

If you answered “Yes” to any of the first 4 questions, your taste buds are taste duds and you need a tune up. Read on to learn how.


Re-teaching your taste buds is not easy, but can change your life. Follow these tips to help you start loving what you have been missing!


  • Start by slowly decreasing your salt intake. This may take a few weeks or a few months. Remember, food may not taste the same in the beginning but give your taste buds time to adjust and resist adding more salt.
  • Eat more home cooked meals! 70% of the sodium in our diets comes from processed foods from restaurants, fast food joints and prepackaged food. 
  • When you do add salt to your cooking at home, add it just before serving for maximum flavor. 


  • Start counting how many sugar grams you consume in a day’s time. Shoot for no more than 25 grams per day of added sugar.
    • Added sugars are honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, table sugar, sucrose, dextrose, high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup. Juice, while natural, is too heavily concentrated and will need to be counted towards the 25-gram limit. 
    • Natural sugars found in fruit and plain yogurt do not count towards your 25 grams per day, as these are not added sugars. 
    • Avoid all artificial sweeteners – even natural sweeteners such as stevia. The more you have in any form, the more you crave. 
    • Read the label to find out how many grams of sugar are in a product. Be sure to check serving size in case you need to double or triple the amount. 


  • Eat every three hours. This may be a pain at first, but it keeps your metabolism revving and keeps you from getting too hungry. The point at which you get too hungry is the point where you are most likely to fail.
  • Sleep! When we are tired we reach for a brain pick-me-up in the form of sugar and salt. 


  • This can help you fight temptations and keep your breath fresh too.
  • Choose a brand without artificial sweeteners.