Living better to prolong your life

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Choosing healthy foods is smart at any age.

For adults, it's one of the most important things to ensure well-being over time.

Some seniors are making nutritious meals and having a good time doing it.

Barbara McSheffrey and her friends like to prepare meals at home so they know what's in their food.

Eating local and clean is their goal.

"You have to plan. Because it could get complicated."

Eating right doesn't have to be complicated. But these ladies tell us too many older adults settle.

As a registered dietitian, Barbara says we should chose foods that provide nutrients without too many calories.

Cooking ahead works so that you eat right.

"You buy things and you cook for maybe three or four and you package it and freeze it," said retired professor of nursing, Carol Baker.

Jan Wade, a retired office manager, jokes that she has 'Jan-dards' when it comes to how food looks. Half your plate should be vegetables and fruits.

"We eat with our eyes," says Wade. "For me anyway, if the food doesn't look attractive, I don't enjoy it as much."

Most older adults need less salt and fewer calories than they did in their younger years.

"You don't put sugar in your gasoline in the gas tank," says McSheffrey. "So you want to keep things fairly clean that you put in your wonderful body."

Packet meals can be prepared for later use and are great to share.

McSheffrey says people should try to stay physically active too.

"If you can walk and talk, and sing and dance, you can do this...even if you can't sing and dance."

If you have special dietary needs, it's a good idea to consult a registered dietitian nutritionist to help you create a customized eating plan.

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