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Is Goat Milk Better For You?

There's been lots of hype surrounding the benefits of goat milk recently. But is it really better than cow milk? Nutrition Diva explains

By
Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
August 30, 2011
Episode #152

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In recent years, goat milk has gone from a fairly rare specialty item to one that’s available in most large grocery stores. And whenever you see an exotic, costly alternative to a mainstream food item, it’s easy to assume that it must be either better—or better for you. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between goat milk and cow milk and what nutritional advantages, if any, goat milk might offer.

How is Goat Milk Different from Cow Milk?

One of the first things you’ll notice is that goat milk is two or three times as expensive as cow milk. Mostly, that’s because it’s still a pretty small niche market, so the goat milk producers don’t enjoy the same economy of scale as those who produce cow milk.  In today’s economy, in order to get me to spend three times as much for something, you’re going to have to convince me that it’s superior in some sort of significant way.

I’m often willing to spend more for something simply because it tastes better, such as really good chocolate.  Goat milk definitely tastes different than cow milk but flavor is purely a matter of preference. I suspect it has a lot to do with what you’re used to. To someone used to drinking cow milk, goat milk can taste sort of funky. Personally, while I enjoy that goat-y taste in cheese, I find it a little off-putting in the glass. But, again, that’s purely subjective. 

Is Goat Milk More Nutritious?

People who sell goat milk often point out that goat milk is higher in protein, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium than cow milk—which it is. Of course, they usually don’t mention that goat milk is lower in folate, B12, selenium, and omega-3.  But it doesn’t really matter; the nutritional differences are all quite small. I’d consider the two to be nutritionally equivalent.

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