What is SKYR

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

People around the world are beginning to discover the amazing health benefits of skyr and its great nutritional content. It can be used in desserts, fruit smoothies, and more.

What is Skyr?

Skyr is a traditional Icelandic dairy product that is made from skim milk once the cream has been removed. At that point, this milk/cheese product is warmed and live bacterial cultures are added from previous preparations from this dairy product. After the milk/yogurt begins to thicken, it is strained from the whey. While some people consider this a form of yogurt, it is used as a cheese in most parts of Iceland. There are a number of powerful probiotics in this dairy product that make it extremely beneficial to digestion. In terms of consistency, this Icelandic product is thicker than Greek yogurt and has a hint of pleasant sweetness. [1]

While this has been used in Iceland for more than a thousand years, this Icelandic yogurt is now becoming popular in Europe and other parts of the world. Both men and women can benefit from this unique and delicious product.

Skyr, an Icelandic dairy product, in a white bowl against a white background

Skyr is an Icelandic dairy product. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Skyr Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition, skyr delivers 15 grams of sugar and 4 grams of protein in a 5-ounce serving. That same serving delivers roughly 80 calories, as well as high levels of potassium, calcium, vitamin B12 and riboflavin. [2]

Health Benefits

The most important health benefits of this Icelandic yogurt include its ability to help you lose weight, boost reproductive system health and protect the heart, among others.

Heart Health

With notable levels of potassium and other key minerals, this Icelandic yogurt helps protect the heart by lowering blood pressure and reducing overall cholesterol levels.

Weight Loss

The high protein content of skyr means that it helps to make you feel full. Having this yogurt in the morning with fruit can provide a solid day of nutrients without the need for snacking. [3]

Bone Density

The impressive mineral content in this Icelandic delicacy helps to ensure that your bone mineral density stays high, which lowers your risk of osteoporosis.

Reproductive System Health

This product can improve the bacterial balance in your gut that leads to infections, and can also threaten your reproductive system, in both men and women. [4]

Growth and Development

High protein content means a ready supply of amino acids, which are the essential building blocks of growth, repair, and development.

How to Use Skyr

There are quite a few ways to use skyr, including in:

  • Desserts
  • Cheesecake toppings
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Breakfast preparations, like other yogurts [5]

Although it is a cheese, it has a consistency and sweetness that make it blend nicely with other fruits and jams as a sweet and nutrient-dense treat.

Greek Yogurt vs Skyr

Greek yogurt and skyr share a similar protein, carbohydrate and calorie count, but here’s where they differ: [6]

  • Bacterial cultures: The primary difference between Greek yogurt and skyr is the bacterial cultures used in the production of these two creamy dairy products.
  • Flavor: Their flavor is distinctly different. Icelandic yogurt has a sweeter taste.
  • Thickness: Greek yogurt is slightly thinner than skyr, and is not considered a cheese.
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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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