Adding less salt, sugar, and fat makes you taste more of each

December 11, 2019 by Joshua
in Exercises, Nature, Perception, Tips



I wrote about my salt experiment of going a month adding no salt to any food. As I expected, though was still surprised at the result, when I added salt after that month, my normal amount tasted horribly over-salted.

Adding maybe twenty percent made things taste as salty as before. Besides reducing my salt without using as much, I also became more sensitive to all the other flavors of my food.

Since I cook with fresh, delicious vegetables, adding less salt led to more salt flavors and every other flavor too.

Since I invite people over for famous no-packaging vegetable stew so much, I see some guests add as much salt as I used to. Sometimes I taste it and can’t believe how salty I used to like food. I also can’t believe how little of the vegetable flavor comes through, drowned by salt.


sugar cubes

I haven’t eaten ice cream in two or three years. Apples taste sweeter to me now than I remember ice cream tasting, or cookies, etc. As with salt, I taste more sweetness despite less sugar and I taste more nuance.

And apples are the most common, least exotic fruit. Peaches, nectarines, pears, and so on taste off the chart.

Less sugar, more sweetness, more nuance—a result that feels like victory.



I replaced olive oil in my stews years ago with nuts. The result? Less fat, more satisfaction, more sense of nuance and texture, more variety.


Mainstream American food seems to base a lot of its pleasure on added salt, sugar, and fat. I can’t deny these things create pleasurable sensations. Tragically, most purveyors add so much that these three flavors dominate all others.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that adding less of each creates more sensation of them after my taste buds adapted.


I recommend adding zero salt, sugar, and fat to your food for a month each—probably one at a time, not all at once. Maybe, I hope, you use less of each than I used to. Maybe you don’t add any already.

If not, try and see what happens after the month. I bet you’ll find yourself adding less in the long term, yet still tasting more of each.

Let me know how it goes.

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