Skyr: The healthy yogurt trend called into question

Coming straight from Iceland, skyr is the ultimate healthy yogurt that is all the rage. Both rich in protein to achieve satiety and low in fat to stay in shape, it would be the perfect food. It makes you dream and yet: don’t be fooled by appearances. Behind the enthusiasm around this product that everyone is talking about, there would actually be… not much.

Its merits have long been sold as unique and yet its recipe seems the same as any other industrial yogurt. In any case, this is what the UFC-Que Choisir association asserts, in an article questioning the skyr trend. From miracle to scam, what is this fromage blanc really worth?

An attraction around protein

Many people love skyr for its high protein content. An attraction without much use. With 10% protein contained in 100g of this white cheese, Stéphane Walrand, human nutrition researcher at INRAE* for UFC-Que Choisir explains it: “The vast majority of French people, including vegetarians, ingest more than enough proteins”.

Information that Claire Gaudichon, expert in nutrition and eating behavior within the same Institute, adds to. “Our consumption is generally equivalent to that recommended for endurance athletes. It is rarely useful to increase it, even if you practice physical activity regularly. » she informs.

A really powerful appetite suppressant effect?

Proteins, in addition to being allies in an athlete’s diet, promote the feeling of satiety. Skyr is rich in 10g per 100g, or, per serving, only 2 to 3 grams more than in a low-fat fromage blanc (7g of protein per 100g) and 1 gram more than in a petit-suisse (9g of protein per 100g). A difference not as high as one might expect given the general craze for skyr. UFC-Que Choisir specifies that the quantity of protein is certainly high in this product, but still “insufficient to obtain a real effect on satiety”.

A little practical information: whether your cottage cheese is low in fat or not, its protein level will only be slightly impacted. A 0% petit-suisse will provide 9.89g of protein per 100g and a 10% fat petit-suisse will provide 9.7g. As for a white cheese with 8% fat, it will contain 9.19g of proteins and a 0%, 7.95g per 100g.**

Our expert’s opinion

We interviewed Sophie Janvier, dietician-nutritionist. For her, in the same way as a hard-boiled egg, a fairly dense food in the mouth, “what will please us in the skyr is this more compact side which we also find in the petit-suisse and which gives the impression that one is indeed full”.

Is this really the case? “it all depends on what we ate next to it!” » she replies. One thing is certain, “skyr remains a good food, thanks to its proteins, but also its calcium content and its lactic ferments which are interesting for our microbiota”. There is therefore no question of saying that it is not good to consume it. It remains interesting “For example, for the elderly or slightly malnourished people who need something easy to eat and which is rich in protein and calcium” concludes our expert.

Too high a price?

What would therefore pose a concern in skyr is not so much its composition but rather its price. Its protein level is not that far from that of other yogurts, we could think of a labeling error on the shelves.

Longer draining time required for skyr and higher protein content, these are the arguments which would justify the average 9 euros per kilo that skyr is worth for the Monoprix Gourmet and Siggi’s brands. A price, “3 to 6 times more expensive than a classic low-fat cottage cheese” according to UFC-Que Choisir.

In short, skyr is very good for health with real benefits, only overrated. No more a fashion and marketing for this food, no more miraculous than another white cheese.

*The National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment

**Ciqual table

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