Metallic taste causing loss of appetite

When you are undergMetal Mugoing treatment for breast cancer, one of the side effects you may experience is loss of appetite or taste changes.  Some people get a “metallic” type taste in their mouth, which can affect the flavor profile of many foods.

Sweet might help mask the metallic taste

Sometimes sweet will taste better and help you to eat better if you are having side effects from your treatment.  Try adding a little sugar to foods and see if it helps.

Have you ever eaten a little cranberry relish with your meat or chicken, even if it’s not Thanksgiving Day?  Try it now — it might help mask the metallic taste.  Throw some raisins or chopped prunes into rice or other grains.  Eat sweet potatoes, butternut squash or cooked carrots drizzled with a little honey or maple syrup to get your taste buds going.

You can also try making sweetened fruit smoothies or whey shakes as an option.  If you  add some green vegetables (such as spinach, kale, swiss chard or parsley), the smoothie or shake can also help you reach your daily goal for 5 or more vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

Add seasonings to change the flavor profile

Herbs like rosemary, basil, oregano or mint can help with taste changes. If you have acid reflux, stay away from the mint.

You may need to experiment a bit. For example, meats may taste better if you add some ketchup, mustard, hoisin sauce or mild barbecue sauce.

Flavor your water if it doesn’t taste good to you

Try adding a little lemon juice and honey or sugar to make a mild lemony drink.  Experiment with my recipes for Strawberry Basil Water or Cinnamon Cherry Sparkling Mocktail.  You can also try adding other sweet fruits or vegetables to water to give it a little flavor. Throw some cut up apples, cucumber slices and pineapple or slices of orange, to make plain water taste better.

It’s especially important to stay hydrated when you are undergoing treatment for breast cancer, so you need to find something you can drink throughout the day.

Have questions? Post them in the comments and I’ll be in touch to help you get the answers you need.



Hi, I am

Barbara Spalding MS, RDN, Culinary Dietitian

As a dietitian and world traveler, I love bold flavors — in food and in life. 14 years ago, I fell down the rabbit hole into Breast Cancer Wonderland. Since then, I’ve learned to cook differently while savoring the pleasures of food and companionship. I’ve built a resilient new life and a bold new kitchen. Let me show you the flavors of the world.
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