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. 

Skyr Vs Kefir

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  –  

BASE INGREDIENTS
Skyr

Milk, Skyr Culture & rennet

Kefir

Milk & Kefir Grains

TASTE
Skyr

Mild & Sour

Kefir

Sweet & Tangy

DAILY INTAKE
Skyr

100- 170 g

Kefir

200-250 g

CALORIES
Skyr

73*

Kefir

70*

CARBOHYDRATES
Skyr

4 g*

Kefir

4.6 g*

FAT CONTENT
Skyr

1 g*

Kefir

4 g*

PROTEIN CONTENT
Skyr

11 g*

Kefir

4 g*

CALCIUM CONTENT
Skyr

133 mg*

Kefir

171 mg*

RECOMMENDED TIME
Skyr

Morning or Noon

Kefir

Morning or Noon

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Skyr

Negative

Kefir

Negative

VEGAN FRIENDLINESS
Skyr

No

Kefir

No

ORAL HEALTH OUTCOME
Skyr

Very Good

Kefir

Very Good

TUMMY HEALTH OUTCOME
Skyr

Very good

Kefir

Very good

BODY COOLING EFFECT
Skyr

Good

Kefir

Very Good

ADDITIVES
Skyr

Brown Sugar or Herbs 

Kefir

Ground Spices & Herbs 

*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 at least 12 types of good bacteria and yeast

Which Has a Better Taste: Skyr Or Kefir?  

Skyr is thick and has a cheese spread like consistency. In fact, skyr is technically a cheese but eaten as a yogurt. It has a slightly sour taste with a hint of sweetness.  In comparison to Kefir, it is quite mild. 

Kefir on the other hand is a drink which you can sip with a straw unlike skyr which has to be eaten with a spoon. It 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 100-170 grams 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.

On a hot summer day, up to 2 cups of kefir is also fine. 

How Do Kefir & Skyr Perform Against Similar Options?

| Kefir Vs Curd |
| Skyr vs Yogurt |

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?

If we compare equal quantities of skyr and kefir, we find that skyr has almost the same carb content when compared to kefir. 

Therefore, if you are trying to reduce your carb or carbohydrates intake, you can pick either one. 

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.

You can find kefir in many variations – made using plant milk, juice, etc. 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. 

What is Better for Your Oral Health: Skyr or Kefir?

Skyr and yogurt are both dairy products. These are therefore rich in many teeth friendly nutrients like vitamins, phosphorus and calcium. 

Other than these nutrients, skyr and kefir are also loaded with good bacteria also called probiotics. These probiotics keep your mouth healthy by preventing the growth of bad bacteria. 

More Tummy-Friendly Product:  Skyr vs Kefir Probiotics

Skyr and Kefir, as I stated above, are rich in probiotics. These good bacteria help in digestion and also aid in fighting against bad bacteria and infections in your digestive system.  

In comparison to skyr, kefir is much better for the tummy. This is because it contains more and wider range of gut-friendly bacteria and yeast than skyr.

However, before adding any new product to your diet make sure you start with very small quantities. 

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 is More Versatile- 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 goes better with the 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.

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.