Whether you choose cow or goat milk is often a matter of preference, because these two milks are similar in nutrition content and both may provide you with health benefits. Some people prefer the taste of goat's milk over cow's milk and vice versa. There are a few subtle differences between these two types of milk.
Cow and goat milk provide similar nutritional benefits and essential nutrients. Low-fat cow's milk and goat's milk are both rich in dietary protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin D. They both contain about 8 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of total fat, 10 to 12 grams of carbohydrates, about 10 milligrams of cholesterol, and about 100 milligrams of sodium.
Low-fat goat milk contains slightly fewer calories (90 calories) than low-fat cow's milk, which provides 110 calories in each 1-cup serving. However, low-fat goat milk is comparable to fat-free cow's milk, which also contains about 90 calories per cup.
If you are lactose intolerant and suffer unpleasant side effects after drinking cow milk, such as abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, nausea and diarrhea, you may have better luck with goat milk. This is because goat milk may be easier to digest than cow's milk, according to MedlinePlus. However, keep in mind that lactose-free cow's milk is widely available, and generally well tolerated by people with lactose intolerance.
Overall Health Benefits
Both cow and goat milk may provide you with several health benefits. Because these two milks are rich in protein, they help fill you up and may aid in healthy weight management. Because they are both excellent sources of calcium, they support bone health as well. A review published in 2013 in World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that both milks may help protect against colorectal cancer, and that goat's milk isn't better or worse than cow's milk.
An experienced health, nutrition and fitness writer, Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian and holds a dietetics degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also has worked as a clinical dietitian and health educator in outpatient settings. Erin's work is published on popular health websites, such as TheNest.com and JillianMichaels.com.