Are You Killing Your Taste Buds with Processed Foods?

Removing processed, dead-nutrient food, replacing it with living, nutrient-dense food is best done step-by-step. We lose what we don’t use – the ability to digest real food, in addition to tasting it – so it’s important to go slowly, not overwhelming yourself, but instead, creating a plan. One week, replace your dairy products with local grass-fed products, and the next week or two after that, remove all baker’s yeast breads. Just go through your kitchen, making a list of all processed foods, as well as checking labels, and come up with a timeline of what needs to be thrown, and when. In the meantime, find local health-food stores, as well as checking out your local national chain grocery stores. Many of them are finally adding organic products, as well as grass-fed meats – a huge improvement!

Sometimes, especially when switching over to real dairy, meat and lacto-fermented vegetables, the most difficult part is that real food does tastes much different from salty, sugary, dead-foods. Give yourself time, and most important of all, give your body time to heal and for your digestive tract to adjust.

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Are You Killing Your Taste Buds With Processed Foods?
by Jason Yun

Image Einstein There are about 10,000 taste buds on your tongue right now. Each one has a receptor that reacts to different substances and makes it possible for you to taste the foods you eat. There are five elements of taste: sour, bitter, salty, savory, and sweet. But did you know you can desensitize your taste buds?

It’s true! That’s why when people try and switch over to an average ‘healthy’ diet from an average American diet they can’t do it. Well, most of the people can’t do it. The reason why is that these people are so used to adding stuff to their foods, or eating highly processed, sugar-loaded, fat-loaded, grease-loaded, overall-bad-for-you types of foods. This literally is killing your taste buds!

I am a firm believer in the power of food to keep you healthy. People that eat better are healthier and sick a whole lot less. Some people just think that if they get sick they can just get a prescription and feel better—but why waste the money?

Food is nature’s medicine. Don’t go messing it up with added, unnatural stuff the body can’t use.

Over the years I have developed some ways to make my food taste better, which is an important trick in eating healthy. But a lot of people think that to lose body fat, or lose weight that they need to follow a super strict diet that bodybuilders use to get super lean for a contest. The typical meal plan consists of plain grilled chicken breasts, steamed broccoli, oatmeal, plain lean steak, canned tuna, and protein shakes. I’ve even known some bodybuilders who eat their oatmeal dry with absolutely nothing. Yuk!

This is an absolute disaster if you are not a bodybuilder and have a life. The diet is much too boring and plain. I can’t even do it, and I have tried.

So what do you do?

Well, like anything you need to have patience when moving from a ‘crap’ diet to a natural, healthy diet. Slowly but surely you need to reduce your foods that have the extra sugars, sweeteners, high fructose corn syrups. Watch the foods that have the added trans fats (anything listed with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated). Some foods will surprise you what they have in them, so be sure to read the ingredients list.

All this extra stuff added to your food or drinks are taking away from the natural ability of your taste buds to taste real, natural, healthy foods.

I use natural peanut butter as an example. This is one of my favorite foods and I eat it everyday. It’s one of the healthiest sources of good fats you can get. But a lot of people, including me, hated the taste once I switched from the Jif/Peter Pan (fake) type peanut butters. But if you stick with it you grow to love this food. It usually only takes one jar of the natural peanut butter to get used to it, but it’s worth it. It’s just a process of re-acclimating your taste buds to natural, unprocessed foods.

Again, switching from these added flavors will take time, so don’t be all gung ho and try to make the switch in a week, or even a month. You probably grew up on these types of foods, which is why it will be harder to make the switch. But the sooner you do the better it will be for you. You will be healthier, and you will feel better— because those unnatural types of foods are slowly killing you. Food is a drug, and the food companies know what is most addictive. All that added stuff is destroying your liver and other organs, and causing a roller coaster effect with some of the hormones in your body.

Try making 1 change a week. If you are using sweetener in your coffee/tea, lighten it up a little each week until you taste the natural flavors. If you use a lot of salt in your cooking, try making the switch to some healthy spices/herbs. Make the switch from cakes, pastries and sweets to all natural tasty fruits. The hard part is starting—so just ‘go for it!’

Jason Yun, a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Nutritionist, is a Columbus fitness bootcamp and weight management teacher. To book him to speak at your local Columbus organization please contact him by email at or by phone at 614-432-9703. For a free 2-week trial to his Bootcamps go to: or