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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > May 2016 > HOW TO RETRAIN YOUR TASTE BUDS


It’s hard to battle with unhealthy food choices when they just taste so good. Here’s how to get your own palate to fight your corner

MEET YOUR TASTE BUDS you have about 10,000 of them, mostly concentrated on the top of your tongue. They can detect five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter – plus the more recently recognised umami. Certain areas on your tongue are more sensitive to specific flavours. At the tip of your tongue, for example, there’s a cluster of sweet and salty receptors.

Your taste buds play a key role in helping you enjoy or stay away from certain foods, which can be a problem when it comes to very fatty, sugary or salty foods. But you don’t have to accept everything they tell you – in fact, you can train them to help you eat more healthily.


EACH TASTE BUD has a taste pore, a small opening through which liquids come into contact with taste-receptor cells. This means you taste liquid foods immediately (next time you eat soup or ice cream, notice how quickly the flavour hits you).

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About Healthy Food Guide

In May’s Healthy Food Guide, we reveal how to retrain your taste buds to cut sugar and salt cravings, help you decipher whether your IBS trigger is diet or stress, and bring you our recipe expert Phil Mundy's guide for cooking and eating healthily on a budget. Plus, new speedy suppers, easy jar salads for lunch and healthy ways with spring lamb.