The Icelandic dairy product Skyr is a real powerhouse and scores particularly well with its high protein content. We tell you what makes Skyr so healthy and whether it can even help you lose weight.
What is Skyr actually? Is it low-fat quark, yogurt, or a mix of the two? This question is probably asked by everyone who sees Skyr on the supermarket shelf for the first time.
The Icelandic dairy product, which is made from skimmed milk and bacterial cultures, is classified as a fresh cheese product and is experiencing steadily growing popularity in Germany.
Especially among athletes, Skyr is enormously popular as a creamy low-fat quark alternative, as Skyr is an excellent source of protein. But Skyr has even more to offer!
That is why skyr is so healthy
- “Full protein power”: There are already 11 grams of protein in 100 grams of Skyr. The protein content already covers 25 percent of the daily requirement for a person weighing 56 kilograms. A high protein content can support muscle building.
- Skyr is particularly low in fat – 100 grams contain only 0.2 grams of fat. Skyr is particularly suitable for athletes who are in a “cut” or weight loss phase, or for people who are pursuing weight loss.
- Good source of calcium: With 150 grams of calcium per 100 grams, Skyr provides a high contribution to the protection of bones and teeth. For example, it prevents the disease of osteoporosis (bone loss).
- Skyr protects the heart: potassium and phosphorus are important minerals that mainly regulate water balance, promote muscle growth, protect heart activity, and promote the energy balance of each cell. Phosphorus additionally supports calcium in bone formation.
- Skyr is good for the intestine: thanks to enriched lactic acid bacteria, the slightly acidic environment of the intestine are stabilized and the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa is strengthened. The bioavailability of nutrients is improved, which means that vitamins and minerals can be absorbed more efficiently by the body. In addition, the lactic acid bacteria contained in Skyr produce the enzyme lactase, which breaks down lactose (milk sugar). Thus, the bacteria relieve the painful symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- Skyr keeps you full for a long time and the blood sugar level constant: Due to the high protein content, the blood sugar level is only minimally affected and the hormone insulin is not released to a large extent – for a longer feeling of satiety.
Can you lose weight with Skyr?
Among many health benefits, Skyr, due to its high protein and low-fat content, can promote weight loss.
But of course, not alone: Incorporate the product into a low-carb diet, ketogenic diet, or your balanced eating style. The proteins keep you full longer and the blood sugar level constant, so that cravings stay away.
In addition, your muscle mass benefits from the creamy Icelandic cream cheese. If you consume more protein during your diet, for example, 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, and also do regular strength training, this will promote muscle growth.
And the more muscle mass is built up, the more energy the body consumes at rest. That means sitting, lying down, and standing up. So the kilos fall almost by themselves.
On top, the milk product is extremely lean and comes with 100 grams of just 0.2 grams of fat. Calorically Skyr is very grateful: 100 grams contain only 63 calories. The same amount of Greek yogurt contains 133 calories.
Skyr: nutritional values, calories, and ingredients
High in protein, low in fat, and lots of minerals – that’s how Skyr can be described in a nutshell. Above all, the calcium content is remarkable. 100 grams of dairy product provide 150 milligrams of calcium, which already covers 15 percent of the daily calcium requirement recommended by the German Nutrition Society (DGE).
Everything you need to know about Skyr
How is skyr made?
According to legend, the Vikings brought skyr to Iceland over 1000 years ago. For a long time, many Icelandic farms produced it themselves, but today it is mainly produced industrially in Selfoss – Iceland’s dairy headquarters.
First, fresh cow’s milk is heated up to 75 degrees to kill bacteria – this process is called pasteurization. The milk is then cooled to below 40 degrees and inoculated with bacterial cultures in a similar way to normal yogurt.
Either lactic acid bacteria, rennet, or simply a dollop of ready-made Skyr is used for this. After 24 hours, the excess whey is removed until a thick yogurt is formed.
In Germany, Skyr is classified as a fresh cheese product.
Taste and consistency
“Fresh and creamy like a yogurt, and as fortifying as a quark” – that’s how manufacturer Arla, which first brought the product to Germany, touts its Skyr.
Visually, Skyr is reminiscent of a whipped low-fat quark. When the white mass is spread with a spoon, the consistency appears fluffy and creamy. If the mass is stirred a little more vigorously in a bowl, the smoother and creamier it develops.
The taste is very tart – comparable to natural yogurt. In the mouth, the skyr mass feels pleasantly velvety and creamy. In the finish, however, it is somewhat compact and leaves a “dull” feeling on the tongue as well as on the teeth – as already known from a low-fat quark.
Where can you buy Skyr?
You can now find Skyr in every supermarket, health food store, or discount store – from the Arla “original product” to many private labels.
In addition to the natural Skyr, there are currently a variety of flavors – vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, cherry, or raspberry-cranberry.
But beware: with extra fruit comes extra sweetness in the form of refined sugar and fructose.
Storage of Skyr
Just like quark or yogurt, skyr will keep for three to four days in the refrigerator when opened.
Preparation tips for skyr
Skyr can be used in many ways. Skyr tastes especially refreshing when served in combination with fresh fruits and berries, nuts, and homemade granola. But the Icelandic dairy product can also be used for baking or savory dishes.
By the way, traditionally skyr is eaten mixed with milk and sugar.
Difference between low-fat quark and yogurt: Which is better?
- Yogurt: Compared to Skyr, yogurt is even creamier in consistency, depending on the brand. In terms of taste, they are very similar. 100 grams of natural yogurt with 1.5 percent fat has 57 calories. Slightly less than Skyr. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium: In 100 grams there are 113 milligrams of calcium, thus slightly less than in Skyr. However, it is not convincing in protein content – only 4 grams of protein per 100 grams.
- Low-fat quark: Is the absolute front-runner – no dairy product comes close to the protein content of low-fat quark. With 100 grams you already take 13 grams of protein. The fat content of Skyr and low-fat quark are almost identical. Only in terms of calcium content, Skyr is ahead – low-fat quark contains only 90 grams per 100 grams.
Delicious and healthy recipes with skyr
From sweet to savory – Skyr is versatile. We love the Icelandic cream cheese, especially as lassi, protein hummus, or as a dip for savory sweet potato pancakes.