How a Plant-Based Diet Can Change Your Life for the Better – Interview with a Superbike Racer & Porsche Specialist

How a Plant-Based Diet Can Change Your Life for the Better – Interview with a Superbike Racer & Porsche Specialist

Picture this..

You're at the at the Moto GP Finals in Melbourne, watching a thrilling superbike race for the coveted gold medal. The tension mounts as the racers rev their engines, ready to sprint ahead. The roar of the crowd fills the air as the race kicks off, and just under 40 minutes later, the winners are crowned: gold, silver, and bronze.

But here's the twist: the margin between victory and defeat can be razor-thin, sometimes as little as 0.13 seconds. That's the edge that separates the ultimate motorcycle racers from the rest, just like in life's health race.

Former motorcycle ace and Porsche specialist, Leonardo Sacchetto, knows this edge well. In his mid-40s, he lives a life filled with high-octane pursuits that demand peak physical and mental performance.

The AKARALI team caught up with him to delve into his incredible journey and glean insights into maintaining fitness, adopting a healthy diet, and embracing veganism.

Leonardo’s story is truly remarkable and inspiring, highlighting his lifelong passion for cars and fixing engines. Transitioning from a superbike racer to a Porsche specialist, Leonardo described his journey as a fast-paced track. Initially drawn by the thrill of speed and outsmarting competitors, his superbike racing days came to an end upon realizing he was deemed too old for the sport upon arrival in Malaysia.

Struggling to find his footing, Leonardo acknowledged the demanding nature of living life in the fast lane, requiring intense concentration, speed, and mental acuity. Fortunately, with the support of the right team and a commitment to a healthy diet, he gradually regained momentum, becoming faster and more adept in his new pursuit.

What’s the secret?

Leonardo emphasized that particular and strict schedules are essential for achieving that winning edge when discussing motorcyclists' dietary and exercise regimens. Following this grueling routine, Leonardo says he achieved his ideal body composition, particularly in terms of weight management. Over a span of four months, he managed to shed 15 kilograms while simultaneously improving his overall fitness levels. Despite concerns from others about potential frailness accompanying weight loss, this was not the case for Leonardo.

He maintained his fitness while simultaneously competing in superbike races. In fact, one of his finest races occurred during adverse weather conditions in the 2015 season, made especially challenging by the torrential rain on that day. And within the same year, Leonardo secured a championship victory in Malaysia.

What Triggered His Vegan Start?

The decision to embrace a vegan lifestyle was prompted by various factors, as Leonardo explains. Reflecting on his dietary choices, he realized that consuming animal products yielded no discernible benefits and just felt morally wrong. A pivotal moment arose during a medical checkup when his doctor disclosed that his cholesterol levels were slightly elevated, hinting at the need for dietary adjustments or potential medication.

However, Leonardo's intuition guided him otherwise. He recognized that adopting a plant-based diet transcended mere cholesterol management; it engendered a profound sense of well-being and vitality. With a smile, Leonardo, also known as 'The Porsche Doctor' of Malaysia, attested to feeling extraordinarily different in a positive way, noting a perceptible boost in cognitive function and an improvement in his overall mindset.

A Healthy Diet.

Forget about complicated diets with strict rules – they are difficult to keep to and often demotivating. Many give up because of unnecessary complexity or due to dissatisfaction. A healthy lifestyle, whether a diet or exercise regimen, should seamlessly integrate into your life, not dominate it. As Leonardo emphasized, it's about living as normally as possible, not adhering to rigid dietary regimes.

Which Holds Greater Weight: A Healthy Diet or Exercise?

A recent study suggests that when it comes to overall health, what you eat carries more weight than how much you exercise. Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study underscores the importance of nutrition over physical activity.

According to Philip Stenfort, the findings reveal that diet plays a far more significant role in weight loss than exercise. Additionally, Stenfort notes that exercise burns fewer calories than commonly perceived, requiring consistent effort over time to yield results.

“There is a lot in our diet rich in sugar, fat, and calories that we can give up to see a change relatively quickly. You have to walk 56 kilometers to spend 3,500 calories. That's a lot of walking. And one chocolate has about 500 calories. It's much easier to skip that chocolate than to walk eight miles."

- Philip Stenfort

Put simply, the advice is to resist the temptation to have those last few bites. This notion is supported by scientific research. A comprehensive study involving over 3,000 individuals, conducted a few years back, revealed that reducing calorie intake was more effective for weight loss than exercising.

However, while exercise may not be as effective for initial weight loss, it is indispensable in the long run. Establishing a regular workout regimen is associated with a significant improvement in how well we age. Furthermore, additional studies indicate that individuals who incorporate exercise into their routine are more likely to sustain weight loss over time.

Why Plant-Based Diets Are Gaining Popularity

The term "vegan" originated in the UK in 1944 when Donald Watson sought to unite vegetarians who abstained from dairy. After being rejected by the Vegetarian Society, he founded the Vegan Association. Despite its humble beginnings, veganism has evolved significantly since then.

While it may have gained a trendy reputation at events like The Big Vegan Market in Melbourne or the Perth vegan Expo, its popularity extends far beyond Melbourne or Perth. The Guardian notes that plant-based food festivals and businesses are thriving across the globe, from the UK to Australia.

Why Do People Opt for a Vegan Diet?

Based on a survey by Oregon State University, the primary reason for most people who give up animal-based products is personal health. Dotsie Bausch, a former Olympic medalist in competitive cycling, observed positive changes in her health shortly after adopting this new way of eating.

"I wasn't feeling as inflamed, creaky or sore, or just kind of blah in the morning. I was bouncing out of bed – I felt ready to go. I was more energized.”

- Dotsie Bausch

What Benefits Does a Plant-Based Diet Offer?

The American Dietetic Association confirms that a vegan diet fulfills the body's nutritional needs and offers numerous benefits. Plant-based foods are abundant in vitamins and minerals, addressing concerns about iron and zinc deficiencies often associated with veganism. Moreover, vegans generally ingest fewer toxins and better nutrient absorption. Initial studies suggest that plant-based diets positively impact gut microbiome diversity.

Vegans have lower risks of cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, allergies, stroke, rheumatoid arthritis, high blood pressure, and asthma. However, it is important to note that those engaging in rigorous strength training require double the protein intake compared to sedentary vegans, according to sports dietetics specialist D. Enette Larson-Meyer from the University of Wyoming.

"Overall, beyond that, we really recommend a diet based on minimally processed grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Meat certainly serves as a source of protein – we all know that – but it's not necessary to have that as your protein source."

- D. Enette Larson-Meyer

For vegans, the topic of protein has always been a point of contention, as they often face questioning from non-vegans about their protein sources.

David Rogerson, a Senior Lecturer in Sports Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning at Sheffield Hallam University, highlights that pulses (beans, lentils, peas) and grains (rice, oats, wheat) are protein-rich and offer complementary amino acid profiles. Consuming a variety of these foods throughout the day adequately meets your protein needs.

This is also true for vegan-friendly and plant-based dietary supplements like Tongkat Ali. High quality standardized hot-water Tongkat Ali root extract is very high in plant-based proteins, and can have upwards of 30% protein in the form of eurypeptides – 28 amino acids found in Tongkat Ali roots that form a chain of polypeptides with anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and muscle-building properties. Even better, the proteins in Tongkat Ali are easier to absorb than amino acids in animal proteins because of their smaller and simpler molecular structure!

Parting Words

This interview features insights from experienced health and sports veterans, reflecting the growing popularity of veganism and other diets. This trend towards reducing animal-based protein and food is driven by in large part by health and personal reasons. For instance, Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton believes that adopting a vegan lifestyle is crucial for preserving the planet. Additionally, Porsche Motorsport and superbike racer Leonardo Sacchetto emphasizes the importance of individual dietary choices.

"Some are doing it for health reasons and some for ethical reasons, but for me, at the end of the day, when I look at myself in the mirror, I must decide what is good for me."

- Leonardo Sacchetto

Ultimately, as individuals age, many will adopt new diet plans to suit their changing lifestyles. While this can be beneficial for most, it's essential to be mindful of which diet or nutritional approach suits your individual needs best. If you've benefited from a plant-based diet or herbal supplements enhancing your health and performance, share your experience in the comments below. We value your feedback!

If you are interested in experiencing the high levels of bioactive protein in quality Tongkat Ali and its benefits, try our dose-optimized capsules, available anywhere in Australia.

Learn More or Contact Us

Learn more about the best Tongkat Ali in Australia here, or email us at if you have any queries or concerns.


Alief Acmal, a committed contributor to AKARALI, offers insightful narratives covering the realms of lifestyle, culture, and health-focused content in Malaysia. Through a blend of creativity and meticulous research, Alief provides a unique lens on various aspects of life. Immerse yourself in his compelling body of work for an enriching exploration.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Annie George

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