Health Advice



Supertasters dodge a bullet while dodging important nutrients

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

When you think of supertasting, what favorite food do you fantasize about? For Dr. Mike, it's salmon burgers. But for true supertasters, with the supertaster gene that makes them highly sensitive to bitter and strong flavors, it's more about avoiding foods than longing for them.

Around 25% of folks are supertasters, and although they're food-wary (is that you?), they do get one major reward: Research has found that they are far less likely to contract COVID-19 and, if they do get it, they're not headed for the hospital.

On the other hand, if you're a supertaster, unless you find a way to pleasingly prepare foods that seem nasty-tasting, your health disadvantages are going to outweigh that benefit. Many of the "bad-tasting" foods, such as broccoli, spinach and cauliflower, are loaded with essential nutrients that help protect you from chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.

The solution for some supertasters? Healthy fats, like olive oil, and salt counter bitter tastes -- and making a nondairy-based soup with the veggies, blending them with whole grains or sauteing them in extra-virgin olive oil makes them tasty.

Side note: Not all adults who avoid certain healthful foods because of their "unpleasant flavor" are legit supertasters -- they're taste-bud-killers, because they've spent a lifetime eating fat-filled snacks, red meats and sugary foods and beverages. If that's you, we suggest you adopt an "add a new flavor every week" campaign. And for both supertasters and taste-bud-killers, Dr. Mike's "The What to Eat When Cookbook" dishes up great suggestions.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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