Goat Milk vs Cow’s Milk: Which Should You Choose?
If you’re someone who’s loved a cold glass of milk with your meals, ever since you were a child and your parents would always tell you that you needed to drink your milk to have strong bones, then you may still be incorporating cow’s milk into your diet today.
But is there a better alternative? Could you improve your health even further with drinking a different type of milk?
There are many popular milk varieties out there and available at your local supermarket. You have almond milk, cashew milk, coconut milk, rice milk, soy milk, and even hemp milk. If you aren’t someone who wants to drink cow’s milk, you have many alternatives.
But there’s one option you may not have considered, and as it turns out, maybe one of the best alternatives yet: goat’s milk.
What’s so great about goat’s milk and why should you drink it? Let’s go over a few things that you need to know.
Nutritional Value Of Goat’s Milk
First, let’s talk about the nutrition that goat’s milk has to offer. What will you get per cup? And how does it compare to cow’s milk?
Let’s take a look at the analysis below. In this example, we’ll use 2% cow’s milk at 1 cup serving size.
Goat’s Milk Cow’s Milk
As you can see, the two kinds of milk are quite comparable. Goat’s milk does contain a few more calories, which comes primarily from the added fat in the goat’s milk, however, the difference isn’t so much that it should put you off from adding goat’s milk to your diet plan.
Keep in mind as well if you were comparing goat’s milk to homo milk (3.25%), you would see nearly identical macro stats.
What Are The Benefits?
Now on to the benefits. The first big benefit of goat’s milk is that it’s much easier to digest. For this reason, babies are often given goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk when they first transition off breast milk or formula. It’s very easy for a baby’s small digestive system to suffer from indigestion, constipation and/or diarrhea when consuming cow’s milk, so goat’s milk seems to offer some protection.
The primary reason there is this ease of digestion with goat’s milk is that the fat globules that come in goat’s milk are smaller than those that come in cow’s milk, so despite the fact, there is more fat, it’s not as hard on your digestive system.
In addition to that, it also seems that the protein found in goat’s milk will form a softer curd in the stomach than that of cow’s milk, so that can also help things along.
Finally, the biggest benefit to your digestive system is that goat’s milk is lower in lactose than cow’s milk and for many people, lactose is a big problem. If you often stay away from dairy because you believe or know that you are lactose intolerant, you might just find that goat’s milk can help you overcome that¹.
It’s widely known that cow’s milk, in general, tends to be relatively inflammatory. Meaning, if you consume it regularly, there is a higher risk that your body is going to suffer from increased levels of inflammation, which could lead to things such as joint pain, further digestive troubles, and even disease.
Keeping inflammation down in your body is important for good health and part of doing that is ensuring that you are making the most of the foods you are eating.
Goat’s milk simply tends to be less inflammatory producing than cow’s milk, so if reducing inflammation is a goal for you, it’s something that you don’t want to overlook.
Lower Risk Of Allergies
Many people are allergic to milk and some don’t even know it. The allergic reaction that comes from drinking cow’s milk is quite comparable to the allergic reaction that can come on due to seasonal allergies, so some think they’re two and the same.
If you’re someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, try simply cutting out milk and see if that makes a difference. You may very well find it does, which then means that you’ve just found your culprit.
Great Source Of Calcium
One of the primary reasons why many people are told to drink cow’s milk in the first place is because of the calcium it contains. “Drink your milk to grow strong bones,” your father or mother told you. Ever since then, when you think of calcium, you automatically think milk. Many believe that milk is the only good place to get a solid source of calcium in their diet plan.
This, however, is not the case at all. There are many ways you can get calcium into your diet, many of which you may not even realize right now.
Cow’s milk is one of them though. Goat’s milk will provide even more calcium than cow’s milk, so you definitely won’t fall behind.
Once again, this is great news for babies and toddlers who have a rapidly growing body and who need all the calcium they can get.
Other kinds of milk such as almond and coconut milk also typically come with calcium (some are enriched). So you really should have no worries about losing out on calcium if you choose to forgo cow’s milk.
One thing is certain, you do want to ensure you are getting enough calcium into your diet from some source. Calcium does so much more for your body than just build strong bones, so if you fall short, it will impact you in many ways, both in the shorter as well as the longer term.
Improved Cholesterol Profile
Another area where goat’s milk tends to shine is that it can help to reduce your overall cholesterol profile. Now, this might come as a bit of a surprise to you because goat’s milk is higher in fat than cow’s milk.
Many people equate high-fat foods with high cholesterol levels and then just choose to stay away because of it.
But know and remember that goat’s milk has quite a high level of medium-chain fatty acids, which offer a wide array of health benefits.
Medium-chain fatty acids are the same fatty acids that are found in coconut oil, and if you are reading any information about good nutrition, you probably know by now how many people are raving about coconut oil and the benefits it brings to your body.
Medium-chain fatty acids will help to improve your overall cholesterol profile², provide a faster source of energy in the body, and could help to reduce your risk of coronary heart disease as well.
Those who consume medium-chain fatty acids tend to have an overall better heart-health profile, showing higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol.
Some research suggests that goat’s milk is as beneficial in protecting your heart as olive oil is, indicating just how powerful it is³.
Ever wish your skin looked younger and more radiant? When most people start looking at what they can do to help improve their skin’s health, they begin the search with all sorts of potions and lotions that they purchase at the local make-up or skin-care counter.
And while topical products can be great and beneficial for helping to improve the look and feel of your skin, you must remember that your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside your body.
Therefore if you want to improve your skin’s health, the best way to do this is going to be to take an inside out approach.
Goat’s milk helps you do that. Goat’s milk tends to produce more radiant looking skin because it helps to provide rich doses of vitamin A to the diet, which can help to improve your overall complexion and combat acne.
There’s also lactic acid that is found in goat’s milk that assists with removing unwanted dead skin cells from the body while helping to encourage smoother looking skin.
Cow’s milk is going to put the body into a state where the pH balance is more thrown off (cow’s milk is acidic), and this can also lead to many skin problems in those who struggle with this. Goat’s milk has a natural pH level that is more similar to the body already, therefore it’s going to help clear up these issues and make your skin look and feel better.
You may have even seen goat’s milk lotions or face cleansers at the store before and now you know why. Goat’s milk is often touted as a natural remedy for improving your skin.
Improved Nutrient Absorption
Another element of overall well-being that you should be thinking about is nutrient absorption. Many people put a lot of time and energy into making sure that they are eating all the right foods, but then never stop and consider whether their body is using those foods as they should.
If you aren’t absorbing the food in your body, it’s essentially just going to waste.
Some of the minerals that both cow’s milk and goat’s milk are rich in are iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all of which appear to be better absorbed by the body when taken in through goat’s milk versus through cow’s milk.
This means that even though these different kinds of milk may have relatively similar levels of these minerals, to your body, it may seem like goat’s milk is far superior. This also means you may need to drink less goat’s milk to reap the benefits from it. If you are someone who is focusing on fat loss, for instance, you must be still getting all the nutrients into your diet that you need, but taking liquid calories is less than preferable. By choosing goat’s milk however, you’ll help to minimize the calories that need to come from milk in general.
In addition to using goat’s milk to help with nutrient absorption, you should also be considering a quality digestive enzyme product as well. Many people are lacking the right amounts of digestive enzymes to fully break down and utilize the foods they are eating, but a proper digestive enzyme can help remedy this problem almost instantly.
Check out MassZymes, which is an all-in-one product that will provide all you need to combat any digestive woes.
Help With Iron Deficiency Anemia
Beyond the fact that goat’s milk tends to have better overall levels of mineral absorption, it also tends to have better levels of iron as well. Iron-deficiency anemia is something that many people in today’s society are suffering from because we eat so many processed foods that are depleted of their natural vitamins and minerals. If you aren’t making an effort to eat beef every day (as is often the case in those who are dieting or just with women in general), it’s almost guaranteed that you will be falling deficient.
Goat’s milk is even recommended to people who are iron deficient as a natural solution to help overcome this deficiency. While you can take stronger level iron supplements to help remedy the problem as well, it’s always better to use natural means whenever possible.
So there you have some of the key benefits that you stand to gain when you include goat’s milk in your diet plan. As you can hopefully see, there are more benefits than trade-offs, so it’s a swap worth making.
Even if you aren’t currently drinking cow’s milk because you’ve simply decided to avoid it altogether due to the problems that you’re having with it, it might be time that you reconsidered and instead, added goat’s milk to the line-up.
Goat’s milk can be used in all the same ways cow’s milk can be used including such things as:
- Blended into a smoothie
- Used when preparing cooked oatmeal
- Added to cream-based soups in replacement of milk
- Mixed plain with protein powder
- Served with cold cereal
- Taken as-is
While goat’s milk is a little more expensive typically at your grocery store than cow’s milk is, it’s a small cost that you may strongly want to consider paying.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of drinking goat milk?
There are many benefits to having goat’s milk in your diet but some of those include reduced digestive troubles thanks to a lower level of lactose, improved digestion, enhanced nutrient absorption, additional protein added to your diet plan, and a lower level of inflammation in the body.
While cow’s milk also provides several health benefits, goat’s milk tends to provide even more.
Is goat’s milk better than cow’s milk?
While you can’t really answer this question with a definite answer as you’d have to really define what ‘better’ means, generally speaking, goat’s milk does offer superior overall nutrition and tends to be less problematic overall for people to consume. So for this reason, yes, goat’s milk appears to be ‘better’.
Why is goat’s milk better than cow’s milk?
Goat’s milk is slightly better than cow’s milk because it contains less lactose, provides fewer digestive troubles for those who tend to struggle and is going to offer a wide array of vitamins and minerals. It’s also less inflammatory than cow’s milk is.
Is goat milk cruel?
No. No goats are harmed in the process of collecting milk as the same process is used that is used when collecting milk from cows.
Will you gain weight if you consume goat’s milk?
Similar to cow’s milk, goat’s milk does contain calories so if you take in too much, this could lead to weight gain. This is the same for any food however, so it’s not a risk that is just associated with just goat’s milk.
Is goat milk inflammatory?
Goat’s milk is less inflammatory than cow’s milk and may even help to decrease inflammation in some people. So it is generally regarded as the superior choice for those concerned with inflammation.
Is it safe for babies to drink goat’s milk?
While newborn babies should not have goat’s milk, once the baby has been cleared to drink cow’s milk, goat’s milk should be a suitable substitute if desired.
- McBEAN, LOIS D., and G. R. E. G. O. R. Y. D MILLER. “Allaying fears and fallacies about lactose intolerance.” Journal of the American dietetic association 98.6 (1998): 671-676.
- Kritchevsky, David, and Shirley A. Tepper. “Influence of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) on cholesterol metabolism in rats.” The Journal of Nutrition 86.1 (1965): 67-72.
- López-Aliaga, I., et al. “Goat milk feeding causes an increase in biliary secretion of cholesterol and a decrease in plasma cholesterol levels in rats.” Journal of dairy science 88.3 (2005): 1024-1030.