Goat’s Milk vs. Cow’s Milk

Goat’s milk may provide an advantage when it comes to weight loss and heart health.

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Q: Nutritionally, how different are goat’s milk and cow’s milk?

A: Cow’s milk and goat’s milk provide similar amounts of nine essential nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin D. Although just about tied in the vitamin and mineral contest, the two types of milks, and the cheeses made from them, score differently when it comes to allergies, food intolerance, digestion, weight loss, and heart health.

Go with goat’s milk if you’ve been diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy, you’re lactose intolerant, or you have trouble digesting cow’s milk. Goat’s milk may be a safe alternative for those with a cow’s milk allergy because of the different types of casein (a protein) in each type of milk. Of the various proteins in cow’s milk, casein—particularly alpha S1 casein—seems to be a doesn’t contain the same alpha S1 an allergic reaction.

As for lactose intolerance, goat’s milk has less lactose than cow’s milk, so it tends to be better tolerated. Additionally, goat’s milk contains smaller globules of fat, which are easier to digest, so there’s less bloating and discomfort.

Goat’s milk also may provide an advantage when it comes to weight loss and heart health. Ounce for ounce, compared with cow’s milk, goat’s milk contains more medium-chain fatty acids, which—along with a diet of whole grains, plenty of produce, and protein that’s light on fats—may speed up metabolism and burn stored fat. In addition, goat’s milk supplies about 30 percent more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat than cow’s milk.