Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 01/22/2021 --The loss of taste and smell is a common symptom of illnesses such as cancer or the flu and is now well known as a symptom of COVID-19. When taste and smell is altered, it can be difficult to continue eating adequately for health and healing.
"There are some great strategies you can try for anyone experiencing cancer or COVID or even a cold that effects taste and smell," said Sara Browning, Intermountain Healthcare registered dietician and nutritionist.
Browning gives these tips:
1. Eat foods with texture. "A good strategy is to choose foods that offer enjoyment through texture, such as apple slices, crackers, or popcorn," said Browning. "Try to have something else about food that is enjoyable."
2. Be careful not to add more salt or sugar. It can be tempting to add more high salt and sugar foods into your diet to improve the taste. "There are other things you can do to add more flavor." Browning instead suggests adding more spices like cinnamon and ginger, or garlic and chili pepper.
3. Add some acid. Acidic foods such as lemon and vinegar have strong flavors that can be tasted even when taste is impaired. "Try a strong vinaigrette on salad, or pasta with lemon and olives," said Browning. "That often will come through when you are having that taste impairment."
It is important for individuals to not skip meals, or change their diet drastically, as this can cause other health problems such as undesired weight loss. Experts say individuals can also experience anxiety or depression due to the loss of senses.
Individuals needing emotional support are encouraged to reach out to those around them, or contact the free Intermountain Emotional Health Relief Hotline at 833-442-2211.
"You can always talk to your doctor or a dietician if you experience challenges," said Browning. ""The good news is, there are things you can do to continue getting the nutrition you need, even if food doesn't taste like you are used to."
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a not-for-profit system of 24 hospitals, 215 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,500 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs.