How To Make Healthy Food Taste Good. My Top 8 Helpful Secrets!

By Lily •  Updated: 05/01/21 •  10 min read

Do you feel like the only way to make your food taste good is to add lots of fat, salt, or sugar?

Let’s be honest: sometimes healthy food can taste bland. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

With a bit of creativity and experimentation, it’s easy to create healthy recipes that taste delicious.

Actually, the easiest way to lose weight is to eat food that you can enjoy. This way, you are less likely to go back to your old bad habits.

Today you will learn how to make healthy food taste good without sacrificing none of the nutrition you need to keep your body running.

how to make healthy food that taste good

What’s The Problem

I used to have trouble making my food taste good. Not because I was a lousy cook, but because I like to avoid using store-bought sauces and salad dressings.

Sauces and salad dressings are high in calories. So consuming a lot of these products will make it more difficult for you to lose weight. 

Did you know that just a tablespoon of salad dressing can have up to 70 calories? Not to mention all the processed oil, sodium, and sugar it may have. The same goes for sauces.

In my quest for better health, I would use to even boil my chicken. It sounds nasty, doesn’t it? Well, it was! 

Little to no sauce + boiled chicken = not good 🙁

This leads me to my next point. If you eat meat, and you are reading this, I want you to honestly answer the following question: is it the meat you like? Or is it all the sauce you pour all over it that gives it the flavor? 

In fact, my transition to a plant-based diet was much easier because I didn’t have to struggle anymore trying to make my meat taste good. 

It was such a relief for me!

But even though I eat a plant-based diet now, I always still look for ways to make my vegetables, tofu, noodles, soups, etc., taste better. 

How To Make Healthy Food Taste Good

Here are my favorite tips for how to make healthy food taste good on a plant-based diet:

1. Use Lots Of Herbs And Spices

If you’re not using spices and herbs in your cooking, you’re probably missing out. Spices and herbs are a delicious way to add flavor to your food without adding unhealthy fats and calories.

Adding spices and herbs to your food can make it taste great and help you stick to a healthy diet.

It’s awesome! It gives my food so much flavor, and I don’t feel guilty because spices are good for your health. 

Some of the many health benefits are that herbs and spices fight inflammation and reduce damage to your body’s cells.

Seriously, just use herbs and spices on everything. And don’t be afraid to pour a good amount as well. 

At first, I would only sprinkle a little bit on my food, and I could not taste the difference very much. So, add as much as you like!

Herbs and spices are extremely low in calories. So, if you are trying to lose weight, this is the way to go!

Tip: If you decide to buy already mixed seasoning, choose the ones that are salt-free or reduced sodium at the very least. 

If you want to add some extra flavor to your food, add the salt yourself so that you can control the amount.

2. Change Your Cooking Method

I don’t recommend frying your food if you are on a weight loss journey. 

However, don’t think that you should only boil or steam your food to make it healthy either.

Try roasting, grilling, and baking your food. It’s a great way to make food taste better without using oil or butter!

It can also help bring out new flavors in your food, and introduce your mouth to new textures!

For example, you can roast your vegetables until they are crispy. You can also bake pasta casseroles, or grill your plant-based hamburger patties.

Be adventurous about how you can cook your food!

3. Eat Fresh Food

Fresh veggies and fruit are packed with flavor that complements other foods perfectly.

Most vegetables and fruit are picked before they are ripe, and then undergo a long journey in the back of a truck to a warehouse. 

Then, they are possibly left for days in the display table of a grocery store until someone buys it. 

By the time you get to eat them, they have no taste at all.

I recommend you grow your own vegetables, fruit, and herbs. You can also buy from a local farmer’s market.

Not only will you be supporting a small business, but you will also avoid buying from big corporations that most likely use pesticides on crops.

Unfortunately, in a world where most of us are used to the flavor of store-bought produce, it can be hard to believe that fresh food tastes so much better.

Buying fresh produce means getting delicious veggies and fruits and contributing positively to both the environment and society.

4. Don’t Deprive Yourself Of Pleasures

It’s tough to cut out the foods you love, especially if it’s been a big part of your life for many years. 

I’ve always loved my ice cream, cookies, and cheese. However, when I started trying to lose weight many years ago, I would feel guilty for eating them, even if it was occasionally. 

But after years of limiting myself, I realized it wasn’t healthy. I knew I had to make a change if I wanted to live a long, healthy life.

It’s important to not deprive yourself. I like Jillian Micheals’ rule of 80/20. Eat healthy 80% of the time, and eat whatever you want the other 20%. 

For example, I will sometimes add chocolate chips to my oatmeal. I also sprinkle some parmesan cheese into my pasta.

Adding a bit of goodness to your healthy food might add a few more calories to your meal. However, as long as you are in a calorie deficit, the pounds will come off.

5. Stop Thinking of it as “Healthy Food”

The idea that all healthy food is bland, boring, restricting, tasteless, diet food is a big myth!

In fact, the opposite is true! Healthy eating can not only taste delicious, but it can also be incredibly satisfying, and help you lose weight and keep it off for good.

So next time you are preparing a healthy meal, don’t think, “I hope this tastes good. I sure don’t want to eat this.” 

Or worse, you find yourself eating food you don’t really like because you think you should, stop!

First of all, cook only food that you already like. If you love broccoli, then cook more broccoli more frequently.

Then, before you even start cooking, be sure to think of your healthy meal in a way that appeals to you. Change the dialogue when you think about how your food taste.

Instead of thinking bland and boring, think nourishing and gourmet. 

Our minds are so powerful. If you start thinking that your food will be tasteless before you even try it, it will be tasteless. 

6. Retrain Your Taste Buds

Your taste buds are the gatekeepers of your food choices. 

When you eat food that you like, your body produces a signal that tells your brain to remember that you enjoy that food. 

Over time, your taste buds can become accustomed to eating the same kinds of food. 

If you eat salads for lunch often, your taste buds will develop a tolerance to the nutritious greens, making it harder for you to enjoy unhealthy foods.

For this to work, however, you need to make incremental improvements to your eating habits, and not try to change everything at once. 

Pick one food to change or remove from your diet at a time. For example, each week, use less salt or oil in your food. 

Next thing you know, food with a lot of salt and oil will start tasting salty and oily, and you won’t enjoy eating it anymore.

Replace one soda with sparkling water every week until you completely stop drinking soda. After a while, soda will taste too sweet for your taste.

Just don’t overwhelm yourself by changing your whole diet from one day to another. That will not work!

salad orange food

7. Pump Up The Flavor

Although you may think you can’t pump the flavor of your favorite dishes without adding a crazy amount of butter and salt, think again! Or, just ask a chef! 

One of the easiest ways to improve the flavor of your food is to simply add acid. 

This can be done by adding citrus juice to your cooking or adding a bit of vinegar to sauces. 

Something else you can do to make your dishes pop is to add fresh lemon juice. Have you ever squeezed lemon on your pad thai?

Lemons are excellent for adding that sour element to your cooking or baking. 

The tangy acidity will do the trick of balancing out any sweetness in the food.

If you want an even more intense lemon flavor, add some zest as well. Or grate rinds of orange to make your food sweeter.

Flavor is a matter of taste, so experiment with different combinations of ingredients and methods and see what works for you.

8. Make Your Food Look Good

Let’s be honest: how food looks can make or break your appetite. 

If you present it on a fancy plate, you’re going to instinctively feel like the food is tastier.

For the final touch, add some garnish to your food, such as chopped herbs or a vibrant red sauce. Adding color to your food always works!

No doubt it’s a placebo effect, but it works!

Finally, share your creation on Instagram if you need to, and be proud! Whatever works to help the food you make be more appetizing!


If you’ve been trying to eat healthily and it tastes like cardboard, I have a few tricks for improving your food that might just change the way you think about eating better. 

Start by buying more fresh fruits and vegetables to cook with whenever possible.

Next, incorporate more herbs and spices into your cooking! Don’t forget to experiment by baking or grilling instead of frying or boiling food. 

Lastly, stop thinking of “healthy” as not being delicious! A lot of it is in your head.

Now you know how to make healthy food taste good! So stop with the excuses and get cooking!


Hi, I'm Lily! Like you, I have struggled with my weight. It was not an easy journey but I was able to lose 40 pounds and have kept it off for 14 years. My goal is to share with you all the research, tips, and tricks that I have learned over the years to help you lose weight also.