Here’s to Skyr

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You might not have even heard of Iceland’s answer to yoghurt, but you might be surprised to learn of the health benefits it, and other yoghurts offer.

If you are passionate about fitness, you may have had an experience when you looked for food that was a rich source of protein. Studies have shown that people who engage in high levels of physical activity like resistance training, require a high protein intake to build muscle, recover from intensive workouts, heal wounds, and maintain a strong immune system[1]. High protein also helps to remove excess body fat when calorie expenditure is over calorie consumption[2]. Therefore, it’s quite natural for fitness buffs to search for a protein source no matter what their goals are.

Milk and dairy products are great sources of protein. Protein in milk and dairies is high in leucine, which is a key amino acid for muscle protein synthesis. Milk and dairy consumption is also associated with lower body weight. It does not necessarily mean that these products rip your body, but at least they are not fattening. Some people believe that milk and dairies are harmful to health, but this has been debunked by science, and I can say they are quite safe.

If you want to eat dairy as a snack, then I recommend yoghurt, particularly the Greek and the Icelandic—called “Skyr”–varieties, which are quite high in protein. Let’s compare these three labels.

Label YoghurtsPer 3/4 cup (175g)

You can see that both Greek yoghurt and Skyr have a much higher protein content than regular yoghurt although the exact number varies from one product to another. You usually can take around 15-20g of protein from 7oz of Greek yoghurt and Skyr. Furthermore, they are low in fat. As with other dairies, both yoghurts have lots of calcium, which many Canadians take insufficiently (Please check Health Canada [Link]). Don’t forget they both function as probiotics although the benefits to general health and sports performance remain to be proven. They do, however provide you with good bacteria and may help keep your gut and intestines healthy.

Icelandic ypghurt, SkyrIcelandic Style Yoghurt “Skyr”

If you want to add flavour, mixing a cup of fresh-or-frozen berries into Greek yoghurt or Skyr is a healthy option. This gives you more fibre, more polyphenols, and less sugar. In other words, it’s more health-conscious food!

Greek yoghurt has a somewhat sour taste, so Skyr may be more to your liking. On the other hand, Skyr has thicker texture than Greek yoghurt, and because of this some might prefer Greek.

While neither product are super foods that can cure health problems, they are mouth-watering, can satisfy protein requirements, help you to take adequate amounts of calcium, and provide you with gut-friendly bacteria.

Give them a try! You’ll love them.

Atlas Motohashi

References

  1. Campbell, Bill, et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2007, 4.8: 8. [JISSN]
  2. Skov, A. R., et al. Randomized trial on protein vs carbohydrate in ad libitum fat reduced diet for the treatment of obesity. International journal of obesity and related metabolic disorders: journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity, 1999, 23.5: 528. [PubMed]

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