Although most of the milk found in American grocery stores is cow’s milk, globally nearly three quarters of all milk consumed is goat’s milk. Even in the United States, goat milk is gaining popularity. It is often recommended for those who are allergic to cow’s milk.
Those with milk allergies are usually able to drink goat milk because the proteins are different. Goat’s milk does not contain the type of protein that causes a reaction in people who are allergic to cow’s milk. These proteins form a softer curd, or clump of protein formed as stomach acids act on the protein. This makes goat’s milk protein more easily digestible than cow’s milk.
There are other reasons why goat milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk. In part, this is believed to be because its composition is closer to that of human milk. Another cause of goat milk’s easier digestion that the fat molecules are much smaller – about a fifth of the size of those in cow’s milk. The smaller fat molecules and lack of agglutinin, which causes the fat to cluster together, mean that the cream does not separate in goat’s milk. Goat milk contains about ten grams of fat for every 8 ounces of milk, compared to about 8 grams in whole cow’s milk. Because it is harder to separate the fat, it is difficult to find lowfat varieties of goat milk.
The flavor of both milks is comparable, with goat milk described as being both richer and milder than cow’s milk. Nutritionally, both milks are similar. Goat’s milk is a better source for calcium, vitamins B6 and A, potassium, niacin, copper, and selenium. On the other hand, cow’s milk contains more vitamin B12 and folic acid.