Should You be Drinking the Most Popular Milk in the World?

Articles
May 18, 2015

Should You be Drinking the Most Popular Milk in the World?

Goat’s milk products like goats cheese are widely available these days. Other products like yogurt and goat’s milk are just finding their way into specialty stores and some chains across the country.

Goat’s milk products like goats cheese are widely available these days. Other products like yogurt and goat’s milk are just finding their way into specialty stores and some chains across the country.

Here are four things you should know about goat’s milk before you shop.

When we hear milk, we usually think of cow’s milk, but on a worldwide basis, more people drink goat’s milk than from any other single animal. Over 440 million goats (worldwide) produce an estimated 4.8 million tons of milk that is predominantly consumed locally or processed into various types of cheeses. Since goats are easier to keep than cows, goat’s milk predominates.

Goat’s milk contains more calcium, as well as higher levels of vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, and niacin as compared to cow’s milk. More specifically, goat milk contains, 168 calories, 9 grams of protein, and 33% of the total daily recommendation for calcium. The calcium and phosphorus in goat’s milk are more highly bioavailable, leading to an improvement in the body's environment for bone formation. It also has more zinc and selenium, compared to cow’s milk, which are essential micronutrients contributing to the antioxidant defense and for the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases.

Goat’s Milk is more digestible for most, as it contains slightly lower levels of lactose (4.1 percent vs. 4.7 percent in cow’s milk), which may be an advantage for those who are lactose-intolerant.  In addition, goat milk contains less casein alpha 1, which is responsible for most allergies to cow’s milk. Additionally, goat’s milk contains a significant amount of oligosaccharides, which act as prebiotics in the intestines. Prebiotics help develop probiotic flora, thus creating a healthy intestinal environment, keeping the bad bacteria out. This might also contribute to goat’s milk digestibility. 

Unlike other calcium rich foods, goat’s milk actually seems to enhance iron absorption! This may make goat’s milk dairy a good swap for cow’s milk dairy among those who suffer from chronically low iron levels or anemia

For all of these reasons and more, goat’s milk is definitely a healthy swap for those who drink milk, eat yogurt and cheese, and are looking to add some variety to the dairy in their diet. Goat's milk products can have a slightly more tangy flavor, so it may need some getting used to!

Resources:
Dairy Goat Journal