Is Goat Milk the New Cow’s Milk?

Cow’s milk is still America’s most common choice, but if you’re one of the 65% of the population that has trouble digesting lactose, it’s good to have an alternative!

You’ve likely noticed that soy and almond milk are popular substitute options offered in most grocery stores, but now goat’s milk is throwing itself in the ring as the new potential Greatest of All Time. (Get it?  G.O.A.T)  Obviously goat’s milk is not exactly new, but it may be new to you!

Goat’s milk contains similar health benefits to cow’s milk, with only a few slight nutritional differences, but it has been suggested to eliminate lactose intolerance’s associated gas, bloating, and congestion.

According to the National Nutrient Database for standard reference from the USDA, goat’s milk contains more calcium, more magnesium (key for immunity), more potassium, and just a bit more protein than its bovine cousin.  It also boasts less sugar (though not by much), and also contains vision sharpening Vitamin A.  But you should know that goat’s milk is also lower in folate, B12, selenium, and omega-3 than cow’s milk… though these differences, on both the plus and minus side, are fairly small.

Goat milk has a distinctive taste — definitely different, and perhaps stronger, than cow’s milk — but flavor is purely a matter of preference, and the difference may just take some time to get used to.

Goat’s milk is suggested to be gentler on the stomach because, although it contains about the same amount of fat as cow’s milk, the individual fat particles in goat milk are considerably smaller. As a result, goat’s milk fat doesn’t as easily and naturally separate out and float to the top, the way it does in cow’s milk.  As a result, goat milk is smoother and more consistent, and doesn’t need to go through the man-made process of homogenization. This may make it easier to digest.

Take note that for those who are sensitive to even small amounts of lactose, both cow and goat milk should remain off limits. Goat’s milk contains slightly less lactose — it actually has a similar structure to human breast milk — so it may be easier on sensitive stomachs, but it is not a viable alternative for the truly lactose intolerant.

Like with cow milk, many associated goat milk products are available, like cheese and yogurt; Just be sure to read the ingredients to make sure you are avoiding extra added starches, sugars, and preservatives.

The great news is that goat milk is an interesting dairy alternative for so many reasons.  The unfortunate news is that — perhaps at least until it becomes more popular — it is often more expensive.

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