How long do our taste buds take to adapt to less salt/low sodium diet?

How long do our taste buds take to adapt to less salt/low sodium diet?

High salt intake is correlated with low salt taste sensitivity and high salt taste threshold i.e. meaning more salt is required for those individuals with a high salt taste threshold to recognise and detect saltiness and may unconsciously use large amounts of salt (1). 


However, research has found that the salt taste sensitivity and salt taste threshold can be improved through dietary sodium restriction even in as little as one to four weeks (2,3). Sodium intake can be gradually reduced over time such as from 1x usual amount of salt/sauces made with salt --> 0.75x --> 0.5x --> 0.25x --> 0x.


With improved salt taste sensitivity you will be more attuned to the natural tastes of foods, and might even find that you can distinguish subtler notes in ingredients. You may often find that foods prepared outside of the home tastes too salty now. Your taste buds will adapt, leading to a newfound appreciation for the diverse and delicious flavours naturally found in foods.


Emerging research has hypothesised that reducing the salt taste threshold through dietary sodium restriction could also allow for the hedonistic satisfaction be satisfied with consuming healthier foods rather than highly palatable foods (3). Thus weight loss interventions with dietary sodium restriction has potential to assist with sustained lifestyle changes to tackle obesity. 


Tongue cleaning to remove the greyish white deposits on the tongue surface can also help improve salt taste sensitivity (4).  


Heartful Flavours meal bases are low in sodium and are perfect blends of herbs, spices, fruit and vegetable for you to taste flavours that put your health first. 



  1. Wu Y, Liao F, Liao L, et al. Salt taste threshold and contributory factors of chronic kidney disease patients: a cross-sectional study. Int Urol Nephrol. 2023;55(5):1211-1218. doi:10.1007/s11255-022-03403-1. PMID: 36318407
  2. Kusaba T, Mori Y, Masami O, et al. Sodium restriction improves the gustatory threshold for salty taste in patients with chronic kidney disease. Kidney Int. 2009;76(6):638-643. doi:10.1038/ki.2009.214. PMID: 19516246
  3. Cattaneo C, Mambrini SP, Gilardini L, Scacchi M, Pagliarini E, Bertoli S. Impact of 4-week of a restricted Mediterranean diet on taste perception, anthropometric, and blood parameters in subjects with severe obesity. Front Nutr. 2023;10:1196157. Published 2023 Aug 25. doi:10.3389/fnut.2023.1196157. PMID: 37693245
  4. Seerangaiyan K, Jüch F, Atefeh F, Winkel EG. Tongue Cleaning Increases the Perceived Intensity of Salty Taste. J Nutr Health Aging. 2018;22(7):802-804. doi:10.1007/s12603-018-1030-8. PMID: 30080223
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