Cow milk is the first thing that comes to our minds when we hear the word milk. However, there are varieties of milk like milk from soy, almond, and goat. All these varieties are commonly found on the market. Although goat milk is gaining popularity in the western world lately, it’s been consumed by more than 60 percent of the population in other countries. Most of the health-conscious consumers are turning to it. Is goat milk healthier than cow milk? Let’s discuss the composition and properties of both goat milk and cow milk. So, get ready as we kick off this exciting journey with you.
Cow Milk vs. Goat Milk
Milk is mainly composed of water, lactose, fat, protein, and micronutrients. Goat milk has a few unique properties when compared to cow milk.
A cup of goat milk contains 170 calories of energy, whereas our bodies get 150 calories when we consume a cup of cow milk. Also, goat milk has relatively lower levels of sodium and carbohydrates and higher levels of protein and calcium. Alpha S1 Casein is the most essential micro-protein present in milk. It determines the structure of the curd, formed due to the acid environment in the stomach. This micro-protein is vital for digestion. It produces larger and firmer curds that are not easily absorbed. The goat milk has 50 percent lower levels of this micro-protein that help in forming soft and easily digested forms of curd. On the other hand, beta-lactoglobulin, another micro-protein that helps in digestion, is three times more available in goat milk than cow milk.
Much as the goat milk has a little higher level of fat, it has good digestion properties. The fat globules in the goat milk are smaller in size and have more surface area. The area makes it easier for the pancreatic lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme, to break it easily and efficiently. Besides, it has higher levels of short-chain fatty acids and medium-chain fatty acids that are proven to be good for digestion. Goat milk also has higher amounts of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. The absorption of various vitamins and minerals is better in people consuming goat milk.
Both goat and cow milk are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Where goat milk is rich in Vitamin A and D, Potassium, calcium, and selenium; cow milk is the best source of Vitamin B12 and folic acid. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends avoiding goat milk for the infants as they may develop megaloblastic anemia, a decrease in hemoglobin levels due to decreased availability of Vitamin B12 and folic acid required for the production of red blood cells.
Goat milk has low levels of lactose, so it is recommended to patients with mild lactose intolerance. If a person has severe lactose intolerance, it is advised to discuss it with their physician.
There is no enough evidence of one being healthier than others. Both of them have more or less similar compositions. Despite that, it is the molecular structure that makes the goat milk a better option for digestion. You can choose either of them with no fear of any decrease in the nutritional value.