Pieter-Jan Hannes

Belgian Runner Says Palm Oil in Diet is Secret to His Success 

Belgian born long distant runner, Pieter-Jan ‘PJ’ Hannes just won the European under-23 Championship and qualified for next Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, thousands of miles from Malaysia. However, the secret of his success is very much Malaysian grown and produced.

According to Hannes, palm oil makes up a crucial component of his diet, which he believes gives him an added advantage on the running track. “Palm oil is a natural fat, which is a great product, though not very well-known in Belgium. “It was recommended to me by my nutritionist, and turned out to be the perfect solution to optimise my diet,” said Hannes.

Hannes, who studies chemistry at University of Leuven, Belgium explained that the balance of saturated and unsaturated fats in palm oil is a perfect source of energy as well as vitamins. Stressing that a balanced, nutritious diet is absolutely vital to his conditioning and training regime, Hannes said that typical Belgian diet were not exactly athlete friendly.

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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.