In just a few years, skyr, a white cheese from the North, conquered the dairy sections of supermarkets and invaded our refrigerators.
This Icelandic dairy specialty, which has survived for a millennium, enjoys an excellent reputation, rich in protein, low in fat and a source of calcium. Able to postpone until the next meal, skyr’s satiety powers are also often highlighted.
Is Skyr so flawless?
UFC-Que Choisir asked himself the question recently. “Skyr, an Icelandic scam? », asks the consumer association. This immediately points to the excessive price of the product whose recipe “resembles that of industrial yogurt, except for the longer flow time”.
Around nine euros per kilo from certain brands like Siggi’s, but it’s cheaper from more conventional brands – Danone, Yoplait – at around 6 euros. In any case, much more expensive than the yogurts or cream cheese available in supermarkets.
Not really useful proteins
What about skyr’s protein richness? Useless, according to UFC-Que Choisir. “Our (protein) consumption is generally equivalent to that recommended for endurance athletes. Therefore, it is rarely useful to increase it, even if you practice physical activity regularly”, says Claire Gaudichon, specialist in nutrition and eating behavior at the National Institute for Research on Agriculture, Food and the Environment (INRAE).
Skyr and its proteins may, however, be useful for the elderly. “From the age of sixty onwards, we sometimes lack protein, which promotes muscle wasting and increases the risk of loss of autonomy with age. A few extra grams per serving are, in this case, always good”, observes Stéphane Walrand, researcher in human nutrition at the National Institute for Research on Agriculture, Food and the Environment (Inrae).
As for the appetite-suppressing effect of proteins? “It’s not clearly demonstrated,” notes Anestis Dougkas, an expert on dairy proteins at the Lyfe institute. Since skyr provides only 2 to 3 grams more protein than low-fat cottage cheese, the difference is in any case “insufficient to affect satiety.”
Skyr remains a good food – although perhaps overdone – like natural yogurts and cottage cheeses, “all equally favorable for maintaining a healthy weight”, estimates Anesti Dougkas.