Pieter-Jan Hannes Unclassified

Part III – The Day Of The Race

Discover the secret of success of young and promising athlete Pieter-Jan Hannes, and his wins during an important competition in Belgium!

Pieter-Jan Hannes

Don’t miss Champion Pieter-Jan Hannes’ interview on Actua TV!

This weekend from Saturday to Sunday, Actua TV in Belgium will broadcast an exclusive interview with champion runner Pieter-Jan Hannes. Three times Belgian champion cross country running and European junior champion in 1500m, represented Belgium this year in the Olympic Games in Rio, reaching the semi-finals of the 1500m.

A young and promising athlete, Pieter-Jan will discuss his healthy lifestyle and how he came to use palm oil as part of his nutritional regime as a professional athlete. Since he discovered it a few years ago thanks to his nutritionist, palm has become a key ingredient for P-J’s successful diet and training.

Discover this and other many tips from Pieter-Jan Hannes:

This weekend Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 October

Actua TV  
All day, every hour

From Monday 31 October onwards

Actua TV YouTube channel


Pieter-Jan Hannes

Part II – The day before the race

Curious to know what a champion runner eats before a race? One of the most promising Belgian athletes, Pieter-Jan Hannes, invites his fellow athletes for an energetic and nutritious home cooked meal: a nice pasta with vegetables, tomato sauce and palm oil! Discover the tasting recipe here:

Pieter-Jan Hannes

Part I – The day before the race

Go behind the scenes and discover Belgian champion Pieter-Jan Hannes’ training and nutrition regime the day before an important competition in Belgium. P-J is one of the most promising athletes in Belgium. After winning gold at the European under-23 1500m and Cross Country Championship and reaching the semi-finals at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, he is now ready for his next challenge: the 2017 World Championships in London. Stay tuned!

Pieter-Jan Hannes

The secret weapon in the diet of Olympic athlete Pieter-Jan Hannes

Pieter-Jan Hannes wants to shine in August at the Olympic Games in Rio. In addition to hard training, this 1500m runner from Antwerp has a secret weapon up his sleeve in terms of nutrition.

“Red palm oil”, Pieter-Jan Hannes reveals, is his secret to running. “Preferably Malaysian Extra Virgin, that is natural and sustainably produced.”

Pieter-Jan started using red palm oil four years ago. “Antwerp nutrition guru Peter Lamberts recommended it to me, he told me that, unlike other fats, it does not create waste when heated, that it contains more vitamins than most vegetables and fruits and actually it is better in a varied diet than its alternatives. At the beginning it seemed strange to be eating saturated fats. But now I know that Peter was right because it has recently been proven that the old theories on saturated fats, which claimed they are unhealthier than unsaturated fats, are not correct. ”

Since Pieter-Jan has been using red palm oil, his training is increasingly going better. “It’s not going to happen overnight of course, running five seconds faster by using red palm oil. But I used to be ill four to five times a year and could not continue the training. It is now already more than two years later and I haven’t had to skip a session because of the flu or bronchitis. Because I stay healthy longer, I can train more and I’m getting better. ”

Thanks to his improved health, Pieter-Jan will arrive with determination to Rio, where the 23-year-old man from Antwerp hopes to reach the final on the 1500 meter. “Last year I was already close to the final in Beijing. A final at the Olympics is possible, although the 1500m is an unpredictable race. Everything is possible.”

Read full article in Flemish here.

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 ”.

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.

Read full story here

Anne Zagré

The Value of Oil Palm in Developing Africa

Back from the World Championships in Beijing, Belgian runner Anne Zagré explains the importance of palm oil and development in Africa. With a university background in economics, and most of her family working in agriculture in the Ivory Coast, Anne tells us about the positive impact that palm oil has in alleviating poverty and ensuring food security in the African continent. Discover more about Anne Zagre and palm oil here:

Authors Pieter-Jan Hannes

Why do I serve palm oil to my friends?

This is a question I get asked a lot, as I play host to my friends for dinner, including cooking for them (which you can see in my video on The Oil Palm).

When we’re eating dinner, they are always looking a bit confused when they see the slightly orange coloured chicken breast on their plate, probably wondering what this is! They want to know what is responsible for this colour of the food. It is of course the red palm oil that gives it the lovely colour. The conversation switches from “wow, I had no idea it could actually be delicious” to “but isn’t palm oil bad for us and the environment?” or “I read that it contains a lot of saturated fats.”

It’s here where the chemistry student/athlete/food expert in me comes up:

  • They are much better off with saturated fats, than with all those carbohydrates and sugars that they are eating all the time.
  • Added to this, palm oil actually is a healthy product. Because for instance the virgin oil extracted from the red palm fruits is a better source for beta-carotenes (precursor for vitamin A) and vitamin E, such as tocotrienols, than most vegetables. Palm oil for instance contains 10 times more beta-carotenes than carrots and 30 times more than tomatoes.
  • Just to make sure they don’t have to be guilty about eating our meal, because we can guarantee there were no animals harmed whatsoever (besides the chicken they’ve eaten, obviously). We always cook with palm oil from brands that guarantee sustainability. Malaysia, for example, has even created its own countrywide sustainability standard to give assurance about the products.
  • When it comes to the environment, I think the best way to keep nature and mankind in balance is to teach consumers what’s right. And that there are sustainable production methods to help the environment on one side and on the other side improving the lives of small farmers (like in Malaysia, but also in Africa for example). There are millions of small farmers producing palm oil across the developing world.
  • Rather than not eating/using products containing palm oil, it is better to support those farmers, and to know the reality about sustainable palm oil. It would be the same discussion with any other food product, after all. But that I’m happy and comfortable to be able to buy natural products in the super market (or like my palm oil in the bio-shop) in exchange for a bit more balance between nature and mankind.

After which most of our friends have had more than enough serious talk for one night and we continue enjoying our fantastic dinner. Cooked in palm oil, of course.


Authors Pieter-Jan Hannes

My Two Passions Athletics and Science

In this new video, Belgian champion PJ Hannes explains how science and athletics are two important passions in his life. By studying chemistry and working with nutritionists, he understood the importance of diet and nutrition for athletes. Palm oil is a big part of his diet as it provides beneficial properties with a balanced fat content and vital betacarotenes, as well as enough energy for a good day of training. Learn more from PJ: