While undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, some people notice that their food has a bitter or metallic taste. Others find meat to have an unpleasant taste. Flavours, such as sweet or salty, can also be perceived differently.

Helpful hints

  • Brush your teeth before each meal with a soft brush so as not to irritate your mouth.
  • Avoid mouthwashes containing alcohol.
  • Start your meal with fresh fruit.
  • Give preference to your favorite foods.
  • Eat food cold or at room temperature rather than hot.
  • Replace beef and pork with other sources of protein (chicken, fish, tofu, beans, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes).
  • Incorporate meat into soups and sauces, cut into small pieces or pureed.
  • Before cooking meat, marinate it in sweet fruit juices, Italian dressing, or sweet and sour sauce.
  • Sprinkle hot or ready-to-serve cereals with ground nuts.
  • Season meat with various spices or herbs, such as basil, oregano or rosemary.
  • Avoid very hot spices (paprika, pepper, mustard, etc.) and pickled or salted foods.
  • Try eating sour foods (unless they are painful to the mucous membranes in your mouth) such as oranges, lemonade, cranberry juice, pickles and pineapples, in order to promote salivation and reduce the metallic taste.
  • Mask the bitter, metallic taste in the mouth with fruit, chewing gum and sugar-free lemonade.
  • Use plastic utensils if the food has a metallic taste.
  • Eliminate foods that have a strong odour (coffee, certain fish, cabbage, onions, broccoli, etc.).
  • Rinse your mouth several times a day because food tastes better when your mouth and teeth are clean:
    • Recipe: mix one teaspoon of baking soda and one teaspoon of salt in one litre of water.
  • Eliminate unpleasant odours from the air.

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