Let’s talk about food we hate. Or even foods we just don’t really like.
It’s fine and normal to have foods you don’t like and choose not to eat!
Everyone has their own personal preferences. It’s cool if you never want to try those foods or learn to like them. It’s your choice!
From a nutrition perspective, there is such a variety of food on this earth that most people can have a balanced diet that fits within their food preferences. There might be a few changes and stretches to make, but it’s rare that you will need to eat only foods you hate to be healthy.
If you are concerned that food preferences are so restrictive that they prevent you from getting adequate nutrition, please speak to a registered dietitian or primary care provider.
Here are some foods I don’t like:
- Fresh mango
- Ranch dressing
- Thousand Island Dressing
- Pork chops
- over-dressed salad (soggy lettuce 🙁 )
- Pineapple candy
- Cooked or canned pineapple
- Pickled mushrooms
- Chicken skin
- American cheese
- Root Beer
That being said, some of these I keep trying because I want to maybe someday like them.
Sometimes it’s worth giving foods a few chances before you rule them out forever.
(This doesn’t even take into account not eating certain foods because of religious or ethical beliefs. This is also totally up to each individual and should not be considered just a preference. )
You might discover you don’t like a food prepared one way, but eating it another way, or in another context is delicious. For example, I grew up not liking tuna. But it turns out I just don’t like the mayonnaise that was always in tuna salad. Tuna by itself, or mixed with avocado – I like just fine.
This beet pasta recipe from Nadiya Hussain is another good example. I am not really a fan of beets, but this pasta has so much garlic, lemon, and cheese that it’s all I can taste, but I still get the nutrients and beautiful pink color from beets.
Eating foods prepared differently may be especially helpful if you are sensitive to textures.
Some foods are an acquired taste and it takes a few times (or several times) of eating them before it starts to taste good. So, if you really want to like a food, it’s ok if it takes you a few times.
And tastes change. As kids, our palates are really sensitive, especially to bitter and sour tastes, but we lose some of that sensitivity as we’re older so we’re more likely to enjoy foods like coffee, broccoli, beer, vinaigrette. I used to hate pineapple in all forms and just automatically avoided it until I ate it at someone’s house to be polite and discovered that it was pretty good fresh. Still can’t stand it cooked or canned though.
Read about encouraging kids to try new foods and see more resources here
Here are some foods I use to not like but I do now:
- Tuna (turns out I just don’t like mayonnaise)
- Mustard (still not a fan of straight yellow mustard, but some whole grain or Dijon…alright)
- Grilled onions
- Fresh pineapple
- Roast beef
- Coca Cola, Dr. Pepper
- Goat cheese
- Dark chocolate
- Sour cream
- Potato chips
Now, why would you want to eat foods you don’t like on the off-chance that you might start liking them?
Health: Wanting to get the health benefits of a certain food or food group that is not your favorite (salmon for omega-3s, spinach for the iron, chicken breasts for the lean protein, or just generally more veggies for example). It’s why I keep trying beets and eggplant.
Social: This is another big reason and actually a really important one. Sometimes being able to eat a greater variety of foods gives you more freedom in your social life. You don’t have to worry about what’s going to be served at dinner a dinner party, or might be more likely to join a group that’s going out to a new restaurant.
Variety: You’re bored of the foods you are currently eating and want to try something new
Legacy: You want your kids to try new foods and you need to set a good example.
You just want to because it seems cool: I’ll be honest here. While beets are really healthy, the main reason that I really want to like them is that they are sooo pretty! Did you see that pasta? It’s an unreal magenta color! Or olives. It was a great disappointment to my child self that I didn’t like olives because I wanted to be like all the cool kids and stick them on my fingers, but I still don’t like them despite continuing to try them :/
Your takeaway for today: it’s ok to not like all foods, but sometimes it’s worth giving a food a few chances before swearing it off forever because you may someday be able to wear olives on your fingers like the cool kids.
What foods do you dislike? Or what foods are you learning to like?
This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.