The modern world is full of variety and possibilities regarding everything. The same goes for milk. There are plenty of options available like goat milk, cow milk, buffalo milk, plant-based milk, and so on. It is quite tricky to decide which milk type is more beneficial in terms of nutrients and health benefits.
The decision might be overwhelming but don’t get worried. We are here to give you a detailed analysis of goat milk vs. cow milk that will help you choose between the two. So, let’s get started.
You might not have heard much about goat milk. Still, it is gaining popularity worldwide due to its benefits and nutrients, mainly because it is easy to digest and even suitable for lactose-intolerant people.
Although goat milk is widely used worldwide, the production rate is relatively low, as goat milk makes up only 2% of the whole milk production in the world. Various products, especially cheese made of goat milk, are very popular and in demand.
Nutritional Value of Goat Milk
Goat milk is full of nutrients that make it a healthy dairy choice for yourself and your kids.
You will get the following nutrients from a cup of goat milk.
- Calories: 170
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 11 g
- Protein: 9 g
- Sugar: 11 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Calcium: 320 mg
- Potassium: 420 mg
Benefits of Goat Milk
Due to its high nutritional values, goat milk has numerous benefits and is very beneficial for health. Milk itself is a complete dietary option, but goat milk has a unique composition that makes it a great pick for you if you are health conscious.
Some of the benefits of consuming goat milk are listed below.
Easy to Digest
Compared to cow milk, goat milk is rich in protein, and the fat particles of goat milk are smaller in size. These smaller particles make small curds in the stomach and make the process of digestion easy. Studies show that its iron and calcium components also play a key role in making it easy to be absorbed by the body.
Might be Safe for Lactose Intolerant People
Lactose is a type of sugar found in milk, and some people are allergic to it. They can’t digest it and start showing severe allergic reactions in the case of lactose consumption. The amount of lactose present in goat milk is comparatively low as compared to cow milk.
Research shows that goat milk can be a better alternative for lactose-intolerant people, but the level of intolerance and allergic symptoms vary from person to person. So always consult your doctor before giving dairy products to a lactose-intolerant child or even an adult.
Helps in Regulating Cholesterol Levels
Goat milk is rich in good fatty acids, thus regulating the body’s cholesterol level by decreasing the bad cholesterol level and increasing the levels of the good one. Study shows that goat milk acts the same as olive oil in this regard by keeping a check on cholesterol levels and keeping us healthy.
Prevents Allergic Reactions
Some people or children have an allergy to cow milk. Goat milk is considered a better alternative for them, and a study shows that every 1 in 4 children with a cow milk allergy can easily tolerate goat milk.
But again, it is a matter of health and a sensitive matter, so you should not feed anything to your child without consulting a doctor or a medical specialist.
Healthy Breastmilk Alternative for Babies
The formula of goat milk is similar to human milk formula, making it a healthy alternative for breastmilk. While cow milk composition is different and can’t be easily digested by kids, goat milk is proven to be suitable and digested with no troubles in the kids.
High Levels of Calcium and Protein
Calcium is essential for teeth and bones and plays a significant role in healthy development. Goat milk is rich in calcium such that the amount of calcium in goat milk is greater than in cow milk. That means it is better to switch to goat milk from cow milk if you plan to go for a more healthy dairy option.
Similarly, the proteins found in goat milk, such as A2 protein, are perfect for health and are the same as the proteins found in human milk, so it is better to use goat milk for babies instead of cow milk.
Good for Skin
Apart from being good for your health, goat milk is also beneficial for your skins due to the high levels of protein and the presence of lactic acid. This makes goat milk a perfect natural moisturizer for your skin to give you that baby skin. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. That’s why it is used in various cosmetic products and soaps.
Possible Side Effects
Though goat milk is a safe type of milk and poses no serious health risks, there are certain scenarios in which you should consume it with caution.
Not Good for Infants
Children should only be breastfed till six months. Goat milk is not suitable for infants before six months and can cause severe medical problems in them. It can be given to relatively older children, but infants cannot tolerate it.
More Calories than Cow Milk
The amount of calories is higher in goat milk than the other types of milk. It means it can cause weight gain. So if you are planning to lose weight, try to consume different kinds of milk or small portions of goat milk.
Different Taste and Smell
The goat milk has a goaty taste or smell, which some people don’t find pleasant. It would be difficult for you to bear it if you have recently shifted from cow milk. But once you are used to it, you are good to go.
Pros and Cons of Goat Milk
To help you determine whether goat milk is the best option for you, here are the pros and cons of goat milk:
|Good for your skin.
|Has more calories than cow milk.
|Easy to digest.
|It can be more expensive than cow milk.
|Has a high level of calcium and proteins.
|Some people may not like the taste of goat milk.
|It can be a suitable alternative to cow milk for some lactose-intolerant individuals.
Cow milk is probably the most used milk in the dairy industry, and so many dairy products like cheese, yogurt, or butter are made from it.
Nutritional Value of Cow Milk
Cow milk is very nutritious, containing ample amounts of calcium and potassium, as well as protein, fats, and carbohydrates. One cup of cow milk contains the following:
- Calories: 149
- Fat: 8 g
- Carbohydrates: 12 g
- Proteins: 8 g
- Sugar: 12 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Calcium: 305 mg
- Potassium: 366 mg
Benefits of Cow Milk
Like goat milk, cow milk is also highly nutritious and so beneficial for your overall health. Below are a few benefits of cow milk or whole milk:
Good for Bone Health
Calcium is essential for not only our bones but also for teeth and muscles. Cow milk is a source of calcium and lowers the risk of osteoporosis too. Apart from calcium, cow milk is also rich in other nutrients like vitamin D and phosphorus.
Prevents Weight Gain
Study shows that cow milk might help lose weight in the long term. This is due to the high nutrients present in cow milk that steadily absorb in the body and the high amount of proteins that keep you fuller for a longer time, preventing you from overeating, hence preventing weight gain.
Aids in Growth of Kids
High proteins and other minerals present in cow milk are proven to aid and stimulate kids’ growth. Furthermore, it is rich in protein and essential vitamins, making it a complete diet package for your kids, ensuring they get the required nutrients. So you must add milk to your kids’ diet to make sure they are getting proper nutrients.
Helps Build Muscle
Cow milk contains a range of essential amino acids, and hence, is a source of high-quality protein. As such, it can help in muscle building. Further, saturated fats found in cow milk are a rich source of energy, and they prevent the body from breaking muscles for producing energy.
Source of Magnesium
Cow milk contains magnesium, which is important for bone development. Magnesium also helps the muscles function properly.
Possible Side Effects
Some of the possible side effects of cow milk are:
Lactose intolerance is increasing worldwide, and consuming cow milk in such a situation can cause severe discomforts like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Children are more prone to develop allergic reactions to milk. The symptoms of milk allergy could be difficulty in breathing, skin rash, diarrhea, or blood in the stool.
Pros and Cons of Cow Milk
Given below are the pros and cons of cow milk to help you find out the best type of milk for you:
|Good for your bones.
|Cow milk can cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.
|Not as expensive as goat milk.
|Cow milk is usually not a good option for lactose-intolerant individuals.
|Beneficial for your muscles.
|Most people are used to cow milk’s taste.
Taste Difference between Cow Milk and Goat Milk
Cow milk has a bland taste. Sometimes it is also described as slightly sweet. This means that it is easy to get used to.
The taste of cow milk has been a major contributor to its popularity today. On the other hand, Goat milk has a different taste to it. It can be described as earthy and grassy while also being slightly tangy.
This unique taste means you have to get used to it before you can enjoy goat milk to its fullest.
If you want to make your smoothies taste great and healthy, check our article on Best Milk for Making Low-Fat Smoothies.
Impact of Cow Milk and Goat Milk on the Environment
The process of dairy milk production causes habitat destruction, carbon emission, and water use. All this causes damage to the environment.
Sadly, there is not a very significant difference in terms of environmental impact between goat milk and cow milk production. In this regard, plant-based alternatives are still the best options.
Goat farming is better than cow farming because it requires less land and water, somewhat decreasing its impact on the environment.
Goat Milk vs. Cow Milk: Which Is Better?
So this was the complete overview of goat milk and cow milk. Now the choice is yours as both have their benefits and side effects. But if you ask for my opinion, I will go for goat milk since it has more benefits and is easily digestible. Moreover, goat milk is more beneficial for children as its formula is similar to human milk.
The taste and smell of goat milk might be a problem for you if you are trying to shift from cow milk, but you will get used to it. So try to switch to goat milk to fully benefit from its nutrients and all the health benefits.
Goat milk and cow milk both have their own properties, but goat milk is considered healthier and has gained some popularity over the past few years because of its nutrition and healthy farming environment.