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But I digress ... back to the article.
As if we need another reason to add more fish in to our diet (heart healthy, low in saturated fat), research now indicates that fish may actually make us happier (and who can't stand to be a little bit happier these days?).
Fish and Olive Oil Linked To Better Mood Study among older Greeks links fish and olive oil to being happier. by Craig Weatherby
Two years ago, we reported the conclusions of an expert panel of the American Psychiatric Association, which concluded that omega-3s from fish are capable of reducing depression risks.
Now, Greek researchers have reported the results of two population studies ... one that links fish to better mood, and one that does the same for olive oil.
Fish may fuel better mood
The first study involved people living in various Greek islands and in Cyprus (Bountziouka V et al. 2009).
They recruited 1,190 men and women aged over 65, and gathered data on the participants' diets, lifestyles and personal characteristics.
The Greek team then administered a psychological test designed to detect depression, called the validated Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
People who had the healthiest GDS scores were more educated and physically active, but they also reported higher fish consumption that their sadder peers.
Importantly, the study detected a "dose-response" effect that strengthens the association between eating more fish and being less prone to depression.
After adjusting for various factors associated with depression, their analysis showed that each extra portion of fish a participant reported eating per week further lowered their chances of having a GDS score above the "clinical threshold" that indicates depression.
As the Greek team concluded, "These findings may assist public health policy makers in better preventing emotional disorders among the elderly by promoting healthier eating habits." (Bountziouka V et al. 2009).
Olive Oil may help mood ... other vegetable oils may harm it
Several studies have linked the standard American diet's imbalance between omega-6 (too many) and omega-3 fats (too few) to increased risk of depression.
Now a study from the Athens area of Greece suggests that diets high in olive oil may boost mood, while diets high in omega-6-rich vegetable oils may promote depression (Kyrozis A et al. 2009).
Researchers from the University of Athens Medical School recruited 610 healthy men and women aged 60 years or older and gathered data on the participants' diets, lifestyles, and personal characteristics.
Six to 13 years later, their mood was evaluated using the same GDS test used in the fish study.
Their analysis showed that people who consumed more olive oil had healthier GDS scores, while people who consumed lots of cheap "seed oils" - that is corn, soy, safflower, sunflower, and cottonseed oils - had worse scores.
To be precise, the link was between monosaturated fats and mood. And olive oil - specifically extra virgin grade oil - was by far the main source of monosaturated fats in the diets of the participants who had the highest intakes.
As they wrote, "We conclude that ... lower intake of [omega-6-rich] seed oils and higher intake of olive oil ... predict a healther affective [mood] state." (Kyrozis A et al. 2009)
We take their results as positive affirmation that extra virgin olive oil helps make people feel good!