Icelandic vs. Greek: Which Yogurt Is Better?

Yogurt offers good bacteria like probiotics and other nutrients including protein, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Greek yogurt offers about twice as much protein, half the sugar and half the carbs. Both kinds of yogurt are part of a healthy diet, but recently, Greek yogurt has grown more popular and remains the top pick for many grocery shoppers. Another contender for popularity has hit the table: Icelandic yogurt. Okay, so it's not exactly yogurt. It's actually fresh, skim-milk cheese that has been strained so it has the consistency of whipped custard. This thick, smooth alternative to Greek yogurt has been a part of traditional Icelandic cuisine for over 1,000 years. Perhaps Icelandic yogurt is ready to take center stage, but how does it differ from its Greek counterpart?

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Photo Credit: Lean It Up
(Photo: Lean It Up)

>> Read more: Greek Yogurt 50 Ways

It's thicker. Icelandic yogurt is so thick that when you dip your spoon in and then flip the spoon upside down, the yogurt will stay put. It's very similar to Greek yogurt, but it's thickness makes it even more versatile. You can top your baked potato with it or add it to your mashed potatoes to make them creamier. (via Food Republic)

It has more protein and calcium. Both Greek and Icelandic yogurts are rich in vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy, complete diet. Icelandic yogurt, however, offers over twice as much protein and calcium as regular yogurt. It requires nearly three times as much milk to produce making it more concentrated and rich in the essentials from the dairy portion of the food pyramid.

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It's creamier. Icelandic yogurt has a nearly identical consistency to Greek yogurt, but it's a little creamier, which is why so many people are starting to switch their affections to Icelandic dairy products like Siggi's Skyr.

siggis yogurt
(Photo: Siggi's)

It's made with non-fat milk. Traditional Icelandic skyr is made from the skim milk remaining after the cream was taken away to make butter. Many yogurt producers have hopped on this wagon to provide alternatives to yogurt made with full fat milk, so you can certainly find other options that can boast the same thing.

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It's less sour. Greek and Icelandic yogurts still have that tangy taste of regular yogurt with less fat and more nutrients. Some might say that Icelandic yogurt is a touch sweeter than Greek yogurt. Just make sure you pay attention to sugar content regardless of the yogurt you prefer.


Regardless of which option you choose, Greek or Icelandic, you really cannot go wrong. They are very similar and offer many benefits. If you don't like the taste of these healthy options, try getting creative with your yogurt. Use it as a base in your smoothies, use it to make a creamy pasta sauce, use it to makes dips or try it with your potato when you grill out. Try using Icelandic yogurt with this recipe for Greek Yogurt Parmesan Chicken.

>> Read more: Does "Organic" Mean What You Think It Means?