Topline Trends Tuesday: Skyr and the Nordic Diet

April 28, 2009


Even while the Mediterranean diet continues to be recommended and discussed, a new diet with a geographic connection is emerging: the Nordic Diet. The popularity of this diet is rooted in the longevity enjoyed by Scandinavian dwellers — especially Icelanders, who are Europe’s longest living people (although, that distinction is only held by Icelandic men so maybe as a woman I should be looking elsewhere for health food tips!).

Earning a lot of media attention in the UK, the Nordic diet features a high protein-to-carbohydrate ratio as well as an abundance of cool climate foods such as high-antioxidant blueberries and cruciferous cabbage. A pillar of the Nordic diet is skyr (pronounced skeer), a dairy product from Iceland that I saw for sale in New York City grocery stores recently. With next to no fat and exceptional levels of calcium and protein, skyr is being marketed as a snack for active people and as a supplement to a healthy lifestyle. I asked my friend chef Michael Olson (whose family roots are Icelandic) about skyr; he says it’s thinner than commercially made Canadian yogurt and a bit tarter, making it similar to kefir.

Although there are predictions that the Nordic Diet will be the next big trend in countries that have cold weather climates (like Canada and the UK), with Santa Claus as the current spokesperson for Northern climes, I’m thinking they may need to do a lot more marketing to get people to try this eating regime!

Have any of you tried skyr? If so, what did you think of it? Do you feel younger since you ate it or pretty much the same?