Retrain Your Taste Buds

Oh, to have been born loving broccoli instead of chocolate! Truth is, your DNA alone doesn’t dictate what you like (and don’t like).

January/February 2007

By Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D.

Retrain Your Taste Buds

Even after decades of hiding uneaten peas, you can learn to prefer healthy foods. This writer’s husband did just that—and lost 55 pounds. Here’s how. (Also see Taste Tips for some common healthy foods and our suggestions for how to learn to enjoy them!)

When I met my husband Jack nine years ago, he was three sizes larger (XXL) than he is now. On one of our first dates, I watched in silent horror as he inhaled a huge slice of pizza piled with pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese—washing it down with Dr. Pepper. I was (still am) a vegetarian and a registered dietitian who teaches people how to eat well. I soon discovered that, more than pizza, Jack loved deep-fried tacos. He rarely touched fruit. Most of the vegetables he ate were battered and fried.

While Jack’s food preferences made sense to me—he was raised in Texas on beef, whole milk and bacon grease—I couldn’t imagine eating the foods he favored. I’d grown up in upstate New York with a family that planted a garden every year. But after the initial shock, I didn’t think much about our drastic eating differences. Jack was charming, smart and sensitive. It didn’t much matter that he chose chicken-fried steak over stir-fried tofu.

Next: Jack Starts Exploring New Foods »

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