Heard any good jokes lately? Here's one of my favorites: Stay away from fats.

But if you listen to that one, the last laugh will be on you -- because a new study shows how the omega-3 fatty acids you'd miss out on could kill your hearing.

Researchers looked at data on nearly 3,000 people, and found that those who ate fish twice a week had a 42 percent lower risk of hearing loss past the age of 50.

Trust me, those benefits aren't in the gills and tails -- they're in the fats. The study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a similar relationship between all long-chain fatty acids and hearing protection, with higher amounts of these oils leading to 14 percent dips in hearing loss risk.

But wake me up when you find something new -- because longtime readers know I've been singing the praises of fatty acids for decades now, and I don't give a fin what the anti-fat fanatics think.

You might say I'm deaf to them.

Fish oil can also top mainstream drugs across the board: It's an excellent anti-inflammatory, a top-notch blood thinner, and will do more for your mental health than all of Big Pharma's psych meds put together.

The best source of these essential omega-3 fatty acids is that same cod liver oil grandma gave you -- and probably threatened you with when you got fresh with her.

Fortunately, now you can get fish oil in a capsule and not on the business end of an oversized spoon. You can also go right to the source for all your omega-3s: Fatty fish and beef from grass-fed cows, to name two of my favorites.

For extra protection, be sure you're getting enough folate, a critical B vitamin that most people miss out on. It's added to cereal, but don't eat that carb-loaded junk -- get it from calf's liver instead, or at least a good supplement.

And if you're really interested in protecting your hearing, stay away from sex meds. As I told you just a few weeks ago, drugs like Viagra can double your risk of hearing loss or deafness... turning those bedroom whispers into a silent picture show.