Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fresh

Should You Switch to Goat’s Milk?

Moo-ve over milk alternatives. Another farm-fresh alternative to cow's milk may be easier to swallow for some. But is it healthier?

Author Image
Contributing Writer

The word “milk” hasn’t been affiliated with solely cows for some time. A number of science-backed concerns about cow’s milk (i.e., evidence linking it to type 1 diabetes, allergies, obesity, and hypertension) have driven many people to turn to seemingly safer alternatives. And with about 65 percent of the human population having trouble digesting lactose, according to the National Institutes of Health, an ever-growing number of nondairy substitutes—including almond, coconut, hemp, rice, soy, and sunflower seed milk—are increasingly in demand. Almond milk is currently the top-selling nondairy milk alternative in America, beating out soy milk with more than double in sales.

While plant-based milks, like almond, may seem like a healthier option that’s lower in calories compared to other milks (as long as they’re unsweetened), it’s missing key nutrients, says Carlo Agostini, M.D., a professor of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Padova in Italy. “Even though almonds are a good source of protein, almond milk is not,” he explains. It’s relatively low in protein (unless fortified) and contains no calcium or saturated fats. More scientific evidence is needed to support that almond milk is a viable milk alternative for young children, Agostini adds.

Related: How to Make Fresh Almond Milk

If you do not have a dairy allergy and simply prefer plant-derived milks for its low calories and nutty flavor, you may want to consider a more nutritious milk from another animal source: goats.

“Goat’s milk is nutritionally very similar to cow’s milk. So you will get protein, calcium, potassium, and several vitamins,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Tamara Melton, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “[It also] naturally contains higher levels of some nutrients than other non-dairy milks,” she adds. Goat’s milk is a rich source of vitamins A (more than cow’s milk!) and C, thiamine, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. However, it is deficient in vitamin D, cyanocobalamine, and folic acid.

Milk from this hollow-horned, bearded mammal is not a new beverage. Goat’s milk is the most commonly consumed milk worldwide, according the USDA, and it’s finally gaining traction in the states. “[It’s taken off among] Americans who are adventurous with their food choices and those who are looking for alternatives to the products offered in large, regional or national grocery chains for various reasons,” Melton says. Dairy goats are now found in almost every state with more than 360,000 milk goats grazing on U.S. grass in 2013, reports the USDA. Already capitalizing on this trend are New York City coffee shops, which are promoting goat’s milk-infused drinks. And brands like Kabrita and Meyenberg Goat Milk are introducing goat’s milk food products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Drinking goat’s milk has many perks. For starters, you don’t have to worry about ingesting potentially harmful synthetic hormones that farmers inject in cows to increase milk production. Goat’s milk, at the moment, is hormone-free. And while goat’s milk is slightly fattier than cow’s milk—10 grams of fat versus 8 grams per 8-ounce cup—it contains more essential fatty acids. For example, it has linoleic and arachnodonic acid as well as short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which can aid with digestion. Because these fats do not cluster together as they do in cow’s milk, goat’s milk may be easier to break down, Melton says. The same is not true for unsweetened nondairy milk alternatives, like almond, soy, or coconut. Generally loaded up with food additives for flavor and texture, nondairy milk substitutes can be hard on the digestive system, according to U.S. News and World Report.

One major caveat for those who are allergic to cow’s milk: You may have a similar reaction to goat’s milk. “In classical IgE-mediated forms of cow’s milk allergy, children reacting to cow’s milk also react to goat’s milk in at least 96 percent of cases,” says Alessandro Fiocchi, M.D., the director of Allergy at the Pediatric Hospital Bambino Gesù in Rome and the editor-in-chief of the World Allergy Organization Journal. In other words, the risk of developing or inducing allergy is present in both milks—one is not safer than the other. Same goes for those who are lactose intolerant. Goat’s milk isn’t the answer.

A better alternative for this crowd, especially kids, may be soy milk. “It’s nutritionally adequate from 6 months of age,” Fiocchi says. Because soy contains less than 10 percent of the proteins found in milk, it’s important to make sure you have a protein- and nutrient-rich diet.



Comments (0)

Recipe by Request

Do you need some help in the kitchen? Tell us about your dietary needs and lifestyle for the chance to receive a personalized recipe idea developed by a professional chef.


Make a Request

Load More

Find us on Instagram

  • Looking for a quick at-home workout? Try "The Tens" from Stacey Pierce-Talsma, DO, RYT: Start with 10 burpees, 10 pushups, 10 sit-ups, 10 lunges, and 10 squats. Then you do nine of everything, then eight, then seven, all the way down to one. "I like to time myself and see if I can get it done in record time. I enjoy this workout because it usually takes about 10 to 15 minutes, yet I’ve totally gotten a good workout in and strengthened most major muscle groups of my body," she says.

#homeworkouts #WorkoutFromHome #fitness #exerciseroutine
  • During times of uncertainty, it can be a struggle to find time for self-care. But a few minutes of quiet can do so much for your well-being. In our guided meditation, Deepak Chopra, M.D., invites you to take a few moments of mindful attention so you can center yourself and make space in your mind to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Click the link in our bio. 
#meditation #selfcare #mindfulness
  • Many yogis chose to decorate their bodies with intellectual and emotional reminders of the practice. The symbology of the yogic tradition from chakras to Sanskrit letters has been paired with universal symbols of love, life, breath, and oneness to create a yoga-tattoo canon of sorts. The symbology has been overturned and reinterpreted over time, so that the scope of a “yoga tattoo” has actually become quite wide. Here we present a collection of body art, which honors the diversity of the many yoga lineages and the masterful and artful creativity of the modern yogi:

Check out the link and then tell us: Do you have any yoga tattoos?

#yoga #tattoos #bodyart #yogaart #bodyink
  • Start your day with this empowering mantra. "It sets the tone for the morning and can help me come back to my truest self and feel like I can take on anything," says @sophie.jaffe. 
What's your favorite mantra to kickstart the week? Tell us below!

#mantra #mondaymantra #quotes
  • Have you ever noticed that spas tend to smell of flowers such as lavender and ylang ylang? Studies show that these scents increase calmness, which is right for that setting. If you were to look for an essential oil that had the opposite effect—one that made you more energized and alert—choose peppermint. This distinct odor has the opposite effect of soothing essential oils, although it’s still a pleasant scent. Peppermint can even enhance your memory. #energyboost #boostenergy #essentialoils #memorybooster #naturalhealth #naturalremedies
  • If you find it hard to concentrate, try this practice from @alive.awake.empowered at least once a day: Count breathing cycles. Inhale, exhale, one. Inhale, exhale, two. Inhale, exhale, three. And so on.

You may be able to get only as far as two or three at first. But with practice, you will improve, and so will your ability to concentrate. Do what you can, and when a thought interrupts, go back to one.

#meditation #concentration #focus #mondays
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!