Three weeks to retrain your taste buds

Published: 9:25 PM, September 27, 2016
Updated: 9:30 PM, September 27, 2016

According to the Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF), different people have varying thresholds for salty food. Consuming too much high-salt foods over a long period of time can dull the taste buds’ sensitivity to its taste.

“As a result, our tastebuds would require a higher concentration of salt to detect saltiness. Individuals with higher thresholds generally add more condiments to their food as they perceive it to be ‘bland’,” said SHF nutritionist Lim Kiat.

Fortunately, it is possible to retrain your tastebuds and reduce salty cravings by lowering your intake of added salt from condiments, gravies and sauces.

“All it takes is three weeks of less salt and your taste buds will become more sensitive to it. Your preference for salty food will decrease,” said Mr Lim.

Instead of using salt as a flavouring, Mr Lim suggested adding herbs and spices such as chilli, ginger, garlic, black peppercorns and paprika. Replacing salt with lemon juice reduces at least 30 per cent of sodium intake per recipe.

To raise awareness and encourage the public to reduce their salt intake, the SHF is organising a Salt Taste Test at its World Heart Day event on Oct 1.

The public may test their threshold for salt through a sensory test.

For details, visit