Goat milk is becoming more and more popular but is there any benefit from choosing it over cow’s milk? It is believed that goat milk is easier to digest and less allergenic than cow’s milk. Nutritionally, the two milks are quite similar. All milk, including goat milk, is an excellent source of calcium. Roughly 3 glasses can provide the recommended daily allowance of calcium for an adult.
Cow’s milk is readily available in a variety of non-fat options, unlike goat milk. In terms of fat content, goat milk is comparable to whole-fat cow’s milk. However, goat milk does not contain agglutinin, which means the fat globules do not cluster together making them easier to digest. Goat milk also contains more of a particular type of essential fatty acid and a higher proportion of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids that are easier to digest.
Goat milk may have an advantage in that the proteins it contains form a softer curd, which again, make them more easily digested. Research has indicated that due to the protein structure of goat milk, some individuals better tolerate it. The absence of aplha-s1 casein and a higher proportion of beta-casein in goat milk means that the casein profile is closer to human milk than that of cow’s milk. Scientific studies have not found consistent results with a decreased incidence of allergy with goat milk but there is strong anecdotal evidence.
The mineral content of goat and cow’s milk is very similar. The major difference between the two is that goat milk contains ~13% more calcium, ~27% more selenium, ~25% more vitamin B-6, ~47% more vitamin A, ~134% more potassium, 3 times more niacin and 4 times more copper. On the other hand, cow’s milk contains 5 times more vitamin B12 and 10 times more folic acid.
To conclude, the choice is yours! It may ultimately come down to taste, availability and cost rather than nutritional value given the similarities between these healthy drinks.