Aging Parents: Has Your Sense of Taste Changed?

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salmon-300x199.jpgOnce we get to a certain age, we all have memories of how delicious certain dishes used to taste, but find that they don't really taste the same way anymore.  Sometimes this is simply because we feel nostalgic and paint rosy pictures of days gone by, but sometimes food really does taste differently, and for a reason.

Often, that reason has to do with how food is grown and produced, and of course it can also have to do simply with how it’s prepared – too much salt, the wrong spices, or different broth.

We Change, and So Do Our Senses

Sometimes, however, changes in taste have to do with how we have changed instead.  We all know that our bodies change as we grow older; none of us look quite the same as we did 30 years ago, no matter how well we take care of ourselves.  It’s not just looks that change though; our senses of taste and smell also change, and that affects how we experience food.

More than Food Goes in Our Mouths

Medicine can be a culprit, too.  Not only can some medicines affect our appetites and make us want to eat less, but they can also leave a taste in our mouths that really does change the flavor of what we’re eating.  If you find that this is the case, consider asking your doctor if you can get the same medicine in a different flavor, or a different medicine altogether.  Clearly, what’s most important is having a medicine that does its job, but if there’s an alternative that does an equally good job without affecting your mealtime enjoyment, it may be worthwhile to check it out.

Milk Can Be a Challenge

Our changing bodies may also make us lactose intolerant or we may develop allergies to certain foods or spices, and both of these can lead us to change our diets, possibly altering recipes in such a way that the dishes don’t have the same impact that they used to. However, there are some lactose-free products which are quite good and may be substituted for milk-based products, and an allergist might be able to recommend some alternatives for foods that are causing trouble now.

Tooth Check

Dental issues can also affect our sense of taste.  If your mouth is not clean and healthy, that’s going to change how foods taste. If you have to exert more effort in order to chew, the process can make you think more about how to eat than about how the food tastes.

Being an aging parent or other member of the senior generation means accepting change, but remember that not all change is inevitable.  It’s worth seeing if there are ways to make mealtimes more enjoyable.

Related Article
Be Cautious of Food and Medication Mixtures -


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