As the number of fermented dairy products from around the world grows on our dairy aisles, so does the confusion regarding which one’s better. Today I am addressing one such matter – skyr vs kefir.
While both skyr and kefir go through a fermentation process, they differ on a number of accounts. As a nutritionist, let me address these differences and help you pick the best option.
Comparing Skyr Vs Kefir On Nutrition & Outcome
Before I delve into the detailed difference between kefir and skyr, let me quickly give you an overview –
Milk, Culture & rennet
Milk & Kefir Grains
Mild & Sour
Sweet & Tangy
100- 170 g
Morning or Noon
Morning or Noon
|ORAL & BONE HEALTH OUTCOME
|TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
|BODY COOLING EFFECT
Brown Sugar or Herbs
Spices & Herbs
|AVAILABILITY & COST
*Source: USDA; Quantity defined is 100g
Skyr Vs Kefir: How Are They Made?
Skyr has its origins in Iceland and has been used since the Viking age. It is made by using skim milk, skyr culture and rennet. Once the milk thickens, the water is separated from the mixture to obtain the delicious skyr.
Kefir’s origin can be traced to the Caucasus region. The drink is popular across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. It is made by mixing kefir grains with warm milk and allowing the mixture to ferment.
Kefir grains or culture is a combination of more than 60 types of good bacteria and yeast.
Which Is More Tasty: Skyr Or Kefir?
Skyr is thick and has a cheese spread like consistency. In fact, skyr is technically a cheese but eaten with a spoon like a yogurt. It has a slightly sour taste with a hint of sweetness. In comparison to Kefir, I find the taste of skyr quite mild.
Kefir on the other hand is a drink which you can sip with a straw. I drink it as such and sometimes use kefir for my breakfast smoothies. Kefir has a slight fizz and has a sour yet creamy taste.
How Much of Skyr Vs Kefir Can You Consume in a Day?
Skyr is a very nutrition dense dairy product which is responsible for its popularity amongst fitness enthusiasts around the world.
However, you must consume skyr within its recommended quantity which is around 1 cup a day.
Kefir too is a nutritious dairy beverage that is loaded with many nutrients. You can enjoy its benefits by consuming a cup of Kefir a day.
I generally recommend my clients that on a hot summer day, they can consume up to 2 cups of kefir.
How Do Kefir & Skyr Perform Against Similar Options?
Which Has More Calories: Skyr or Kefir?
All foods and drinks we consume have calories (except water, which has zero calories). These calories allow us to carry out our daily activities.
However, we must watch the amount we consume in a day as the excess calories can lead to problems including weight gain.
Skyr and kefir both have almost the same amount of calories despite the fact the in comparison to kefir, skyr is a much thicker product.
But, before picking either one, make sure you check the labels. The sweetened and flavoured variations of these products have a higher calorie count to the plain ones.
Better for a Low Carb Diet : Skyr or Kefir?
A lot of diets nowadays advocate low carb intake. So, if you too are wondering if skyr or kefir is better for the purpose, I would say what I tell my clients – you can include any one of them but in limited quantity.
Both skyr and kefir have moderate carbs with the amount of carbs in skyr being slightly on the lower side.
Skyr or Kefir: Which is Lower in Fats?
Skyr is made using low fat or skim milk which makes it a low fat dairy product. In fact, it is one of the rare dairy products that is naturally low in fats.
Kefir is traditionally made from whole milk, which is why it has a higher amount of fats. However, if you use low fat milk, you can reduce the amount of fat content in the final product.
What to Pick for More Protein: Skyr or Kefir?
All dairy products boast of a high protein content. Since skyr and kefir are made using milk, they too have a high protein content.
Skyr in comparison to kefir has a much higher amount of protein owing to its thicker consistency. This is why skyr can be a really good choice for weight management. It keeps you full for a longer time and prevents cravings.
Which One Has a Higher Calcium Concentration: Skyr or Kefir?
Dairy products are a very good source of this calcium. Therefore, dairy based skyr and kefir, both offer high calcium levels.
In comparison to skyr, kefir has a higher amount of calcium. So, in case calcium is your priority, kefir is a better choice.
Best time to Consume Skyr Vs Kefir?
Skyr is best consumed in the morning or afternoon. It can be included in your breakfast, lunch or even as a snack. Having it early in the day gives your body enough time to digest it and also keeps you energetic.
The best time to consume kefir is during the daytime. It is especially good when consumed at noon or post-lunch. It works well in replenishing your body during the day.
Can Skyr or Kefir Have Vegan-Friendly Variations?
Kefir and skyr are both dairy based products. Therefore, vegans cannot consume these dairy products. However, the good thing is, their plant based versions are available.
I have tried preparing kefir in many variations – using plant milk, water, juice, etc and my experience has been quite good.
Skyr can also be obtained using plant-based milks. An important thing to remember here is that the vegan options will vary nutritionally when compared to the dairy products.
Better for the Planet: Skyr or Kefir?
Traditional variations of skyr and kefir are made using dairy milk. The dairy industry is associated with a negative impact on the environment. This makes the dairy versions of kefir and skyr bad for the planet.
The emission of greenhouse gasses, deforestation and soil erosion are among the prominent concerns that question the sustainability of milk based products.
Is Skyr better than Kefir for Maintaining Your Oral & Bone Health?
Skyr and yogurt are both dairy products. These are therefore rich in many teeth and bone friendly nutrients like vitamins, phosphorus and calcium.
Therefore, you can include either one in your everyday diet to support stronger teeth and bones.
More Tummy-Friendly Product: Skyr vs Kefir Probiotics
Skyr and Kefir, are rich in probiotics- the good bacteria which help improve digestion. In comparison to skyr, kefir is much better for the tummy, because in comparison, it contains more and wider range of gut-friendly bacteria and yeast.
More research on kefir off late is bringing out its benefits in combating stomach problems, infections, improving inflammation and immunity, etc. I myself have been preparing and using kefir for years, so much so that it is now my most recommended probiotic food.
However, before adding any new product to your diet make sure you start with very small quantities. I would suggest starting with one fourth or half the usual serving size.
Which is Better for the Summers: Kefir or Skyr?
Skyr definitely does a better job at cooling and hydrating the body. This is because of the high water content it contains.
Apart from water, kefir is also rich in electrolytes such as calcium, potassium which help in maintaining the water level in the body.
Skyr is also rich in electrolytes, but contains very little water. Therefore, its use as a summer drink/ food is very limited.
Which One is More Allergy Friendly: Skyr or Kefir?
If we consider allergens, skyr and kefir made with milk have an allergen – lactose (the sugar found in milk)
Most brands making skyr claim that their fermentation process removes around 90% lactose. For kefir, the lactose is reduced by around 30-50%.
So, overall, skyr is better suited for people with mild lactose intolerance. However, I would suggest that you begin by trying out very small quantity and check the labels.
Which is More Versatile in Usage- Skyr or Kefir?
Skyr is traditionally served with sugar and milk or is added to porridge. To keep it more healthy, you can mix it up with fruit puree and serve as a dessert or mix it up with herbs to make it into a spread.
Kefir has many uses but in my opinion, it tastes the best with spices. Mix it up with spices like pepper, and cumin topped with fresh herbs like coriander and mint. This will refresh you right away and leaves you with a good aftertaste.
Skyr or Kefir – Which is More Pocket Friendly and Easily Available?
Kefir is gaining popularity throughout the world. It might be expensive in certain regions, but is still available.
Also, the good thing about kefir is that if you make kefir at home like I do, it turns out to be quite economical. Kefir grains are easily available on ecommerce websites like Amazon. Get them and have an endless lifetime supply of kefir.
Skyr, is generally not as widely available as kefir. Also, preparing skyr in my opinion is a little more tricky and the procedure is not as simple as kefir.
In conclusion, we can say that both kefir and skyr are very nutritious products and can be added to your daily diet.
The choice depends on your exact needs. So, if you want a protein rich, low fat food, opt for sky but if you are looking for a refreshing cooling drink, kefir is a better option.
I love them both and have made these a part of my diet. You can try them too if you like.