Pieter-Jan Hannes

ANSA NEWS: Rio: Palm oil is important for the diet of Belgian athlete Hannes. It’s a natural fat recommended by my nutritionist

ROME (ANSA) – Palm oil is part of the diet of sportsman Pieter-Jan Hannes who is preparing for the upcoming Olympics. The Belgian athlete, 23 years, specialized in in middle-distance, primarily the 1500 meters, won a gold medal at the U23 European Championships and qualified for the Rio Games. ”An important part of my diet is palm oil”, explains Hannes who points out that in addition to being an athlete, he was also a chemistry student at the Belgian University of Leuven, and so he is aware of how the science of nutrition is extremely important for all different types of sport and physical activity.

After cutting out beers, chips, chocolate and waffles, which are all typical Belgian foods, the athlete has been following a balanced diet for a long time. ”Palm oil is a natural fat recommended by my nutritionist that proved to be the ideal solution for my diet”, says the sportsman, in stressing that “instead of combining all the nutrients in one meal, now I can separate proteins and carbohydrates depending on what I need in that moment”. In practice the balance of saturated and unsaturated fats in palm oil is perfect to give the right energy during my workouts.

The typical meal of Hannes includes meat cooked generally with palm oil in combination with vegetables and then potatoes, rice or pasta. A healthy diet should contain everything a human body really needs, avoiding what is not necessary. ” I eat carbohydrates and sugar – concludes the sportsman – only when I do long workouts, otherwise it would be just a waste of energy for my body and for my stomach to digest them ”.

By Pieter-Jan Hannes

Pieter-Jan Hannes is a gold medal-winning Belgian athlete, specializing in middle-distance running. He won the European Under-23 Championships in 2013, as well as qualifying for the World Championships.