For the estimated 65% of the human population that has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, goat milk is a perfect, easily digestible, alternative to cow milk. In fact, research has shown that the way babies digest goat milk formula is more similar to their digestion of human breast milk than that of cow milk formula.
While goat milk does contain lactose, its easy digestibility can be attributed to the higher amount of the protein casein, as well as the type of fat, found in both goat and cow milk. Not only are the casein curds in goat milk softer than those in cow milk, but goat milk also has smaller fat globules that better stimulate the natural activity of digestive enzymes. These enzymes then break down the casein and lactose (a type of sugar) that typically make for difficult digestion.
Goat Milk Enhances Nutrient Absorption
Better digestion promotes better absorption, and according to a 2002 study, a diet based on goat milk (as opposed to cow milk) can aid the metabolism of iron and copper in the body. Goat milk is also more effective than cow milk in helping those with iron-deficiency anemia rebuild their iron stores. Calcium — found in both goat and cow milk — has been known to inhibit iron absorption, but a goat milk diet reduces this interaction. Conversely, Healthline notes that “cow’s milk is known to interfere with the absorption of key minerals like iron and copper when consumed in the same meal.”
Goat Milk is Less Allergic Than Cow Milk
In addition to the millions of people who suffer from lactose intolerance, there are millions of others — especially children — who are allergic to cow milk. Up to 2.5% of children under the age of three are allergic to cow milk, which presents a major concern for breastfed babies who are beginning to wean. Doctors often recommend that babies drink whole cow milk after weaning, but goat milk is a highly nutritious, hypoallergenic substitute for those who are allergic.
While experts don’t believe that goat milk is a suitable alternative to human breast milk, it is a good protein source after weaning. Of course, we are huge goat milk fans, and we gave it to each of our children after they were weaned. It’s because of our love of goat milk that we bought our first dairy goats in 2007 and ultimately launched Bend Soap Company!
Goat Milk is More Nutritious than Cow and Plant-Based Milk
Not only is goat milk less allergenic than cow milk, but it’s also higher in key minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. What’s more, for those who can’t tolerate cow milk but opt for plant-based milk varieties, goat milk is far more nutritious.
When compared to soy, coconut, hemp, and almond milk, goat milk contains more calcium, as well as protein and healthy fat.
A one-cup serving of whole goat milk contains:
Protein: 9 grams
Fat: 10 grams
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Fiber: 0 grams
Sugar: 11 grams
Goat milk is an excellent source of:
Goat milk is also an excellent source of vitamin A. Studies show that consuming enough vitamin A can help reduce your risk of cataracts, certain forms of cancer, and even help children fight off measles.