Are You A Fussy Eater?
There are many reasons why some people can't eat certain foods. Intolerances are a common one - thankfully this subject is now better understood and there are more alternative food options available for people affected. Then there is food aversion - this is way more complex than just not liking something. It is a psychological repulsion that makes the smell, appearance, texture or taste of a food so disgusting that someone cannot physically eat it. If the foods in question are chips, cheese and mayo then you may be onto a good thing! But on a serious note, this is an extremely difficult condiiton for someone to live with as, if it's impossible for you to eat certain foods, for example fresh fruit, vegetables, low fat proteins, then you are short changing your body of essential nutrients.
It's important to establish whether you have an allergy to certain foods, a food aversion or you just don't like something. If you think you are reacting adversely to what you eat ask for a dietitian referral from your GP. A dietitian will be able to tell you what foods may be upsetting you, and as it's unusual to be allergic to an entire food group, for example fresh fruits, you should be able to find some fruits that agree with you.
If you have a food aversion, it is important to try and understand the reasons behind this. It may be a simple cause - for example if eating bad mussels gave you awful food poisoning, it's logical why you don't want to eat them again. Or the root could lie in a childhood experience - being forced to eat a particular food in your school dinner. Or it could be more complex, in which case you may need a professional to help you dig deeper and find your underlying cause.
Tantalise your tastebuds
If you just don't like a food, there are techniques you can use to try and get over your preconceptions.
- Experiment with different cooking methods to make foods you don't like more appealing. For example, roasted vegetables, sauted potatoes and marinated lamb kebabs are a far more exciting version of the traditional meat and two veg.
- Try different herbs and seasonings to make something you find bland more exciting.
- Get yourself a good simple cookery book and try to introduce one new meal a week.
- When you're food shopping, pop one new item into your trolley every week and commit to try it.
If all else fails....
If you really can't convince your palate to be a bit more adventurous, (or are unable to), it is worth considering taking a multi-vitamin to make sure you are getting the essential nutrients you need. Exactly what you need however depends on your personal dislikes, intolerances, allergies or aversions however, so it would be important to get advice from your doctor on which nutrients you need to pay special attention to. Also, something interesting to consider is that anecdotal evidence suggests that zinc supplements may help make your taste buds more sensitive and perhaps change your appreciation of different flavours. Could be worth a try!