Should You Be Eating Icelandic Skyr Instead Of Greek Yogurt?

January 26, 2017
icelandic skyr
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Greek yogurt is great. It's creamy and rich, a great source of calcium, and packs about as much protein as a chicken breast. So why would you ever stop eating the stuff? Perhaps, because you found something even better—and that something is called skyr.

People in Iceland have been eating the cultured dairy product for thousands of years. But now, skyr seems poised to take over the dairy case right here at home. Technically, it's a strained cheese made from skim milk. But you can usually find it right next to the yogurt. And unlike a hunk of Parmesan or Brie, you don't have to feel bad about eating skyr for breakfast. (Repeat after us: No more dieting. Ever. Instead, learn how to eat clean—with zero deprivation!—and watch the pounds drop off, with Your Metabolism Makeover.)


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Because even though it's not technically yogurt, the nutritional profile is almost identical. Plain skyr serves up 100 calories, 17 g of protein, 0 g of fat, and 3 g of sugar per 5 oz serving, compared to nonfat Greek yogurt's 80 calories, 15 g of protein, 0 g of fat, and 4 g of sugar. And both deliver 15% of your daily calcium. 

If you're looking for a nonfat, high-protein source of fermented dairy, you'd do well choosing skyr or Greek yogurt. "Nutritionally, they offer the same benefits. It really comes down to taste and texture, and which you prefer more," says registered dietician Sarah Pflugradt. Compared to Greek yogurt, skyr is slightly thicker and less tangy, kind of like crème fraîche. So if you always secretly wished your Greek yogurt was just a little bit less mouth-puckering, skyr might be the stuff for you. 


The one exception? If you're after more fat or calories, opt for low-fat or full-fat Greek yogurt. (Unlikely? Maybe. But still good to know.) Since skyr is made from skim milk, it's always nonfat.

One last thing to keep in mind: Like Greek yogurt, there are lots of flavored skyrs out there. Though tasty, they tend to be higher in added sugars, so steer clear. If you want to gussy up your skyr, try fresh fruit, honey, or maple syrup, so you can control how much sweetness goes in.