Goat milk has become a choice for the health-conscious in the western world. Some believe it also provides better nutrition than cow milk. But before adding goat milk to your next shopping list, you might ask if goat milk is vegan.
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Is Goat Milk Vegan?
The answer, sadly, is no. Goat milk is directly obtained from an animal. Veganism does not support any product being sourced or derived from an animal. Goat milk, although nutritious, has to be ruled out of your vegan diet and lifestyle.
Goat milk provides a lot of essential nutrients, such as proteins and calcium, to the body. Many dairy products, such as feta cheese, are goat milk-based. But is goat milk worth the compromise?
This article will discuss goat’s milk’s health advantages and disadvantages and provide some vegan alternatives.
In one cup of goat milk (8 oz), there are:
- Calories – 170
- Proteins – 9g
- Fat – 10g
- Carbs – 11g
- Lactose – 11g
- Calcium – 330mg
Goat milk is also an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, such as:
- Vitamin A
Health Benefits of Goat Milk
While cow’s milk is the predominant type consumed globally, many people have started gravitating towards goat milk for health-related reasons. Although the nutrient profile of cow and goat milk is similar, the value gained by the body is different.
Depending on your health and lifestyle, goat milk might be the better option when compared to cow milk or plant milk.
The protein content of goat milk is similar to that of cow milk. While the amount might be the same, the protein from goat milk is easier to digest for the body. That also means that the body more easily uses it.
The microprotein beta-lactoglobulin is an easily digestible microprotein. The levels of beta-lactoglobulin in goat milk are three times more than compared to cow milk.
Another microprotein, alpha S1 casein, is responsible for the structure and firmness of curd. Alpha S1 casein is 50% lesser in goat milk than in cow milk. That means softer curd is formed when you use goat milk.
One cup of goat’s milk contains 170 calories and 9g of protein, 11g of carbs, 10g of fat, and 330mg of calcium. It is also rich in vitamin A, phosphorous, magnesium, and potassium.
Calcium is necessary for strengthening your teeth and bones. It also contributes to better muscle function and normal blood clotting. The amount of calcium the body gains in one cup of goat’s milk is the highest among all types.
Almost 30% of your daily intake of calcium is taken care of in one cup of goat milk. Goat milk is also low in sodium and carbs. This high nutrient value makes it an excellent addition to your diet.
Fat globules that are smaller and have a larger surface area are better suited for the body. Pancreatic lipase, a fat-digesting enzyme, can work more efficiently on such globules.
The fat globules in goat milk are smaller and have a greater surface area than the fat in cow milk. It makes goat milk fat easily digestible by the body.
Goat milk also has a high level of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids reduce heart disease risk and total cholesterol levels. They also lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels in the body.
Goat milk is also used for various medicinal purposes.
It is also alkaline and lowers the acidity of the stomach. That is beneficial for people suffering from heartburn. This quality also helps with indigestion caused by irregular and poor-quality diets.
Disadvantages of Goat’s Milk
While goat milk provides many benefits, it also has some disadvantages. Depending on your dietary and health requirements, these might be significant.
Not Safe for Infants
Goat’s milk lacks folate and vitamin B12. It is necessary for growth, and lacking these nutrients can lead to problems like anemia.
In the early 20th century, many infants developed anemia after being primarily fed goat milk.
Goat milk can harm your baby. It is linked with poor growth, mineral and vitamin deficiency, and problems with kidney function. You should get an opinion from your child’s pediatrician regarding goat milk.
Goat milk has a high lactose level. In one cup (8 oz) of goat milk, there is 11g of lactose. Lactose is the sugar present in milk. If you are allergic to lactose, goat’s milk might not suit you.
Lactose intolerance is when your body cannot produce enough of the enzyme called lactase. This enzyme breaks down the lactose in your food. Lactose intolerance means your body cannot digest this sugar completely.
Consuming lactose in such a situation results in abdominal cramps, gas, indigestion, bloating, and even diarrhea. If you have lactose intolerance, you shouldn’t consume goat milk.
Alternatives to Goat Milk
Goat milk might not be suitable for your vegan diet. Not only does it come from an animal, but it also contains certain nutrients which might not match your health requirements.
There are multiple alternatives to goat’s milk sourced from plants. These fit your vegan lifestyle perfectly and have a lot of health benefits.
Here are a few alternatives to goat’s milk you should check out!
Soy milk is the cheapest and most common plant-based milk. It’s the go-to for most vegans and is an excellent alternative to animal-based milk.
One cup (8 oz) of soy milk (unsweetened) contains:
- Calories – 80 to 100
- Carbs – 4g
- Fat – 4g
- Protein – 7g
- Cholesterol – 0g
Since soy milk is derived from plants, it has zero cholesterol and is extremely low in saturated fats.
If fortified, soy milk is also a great source of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.
Compared to animal-based milk, soy milk provides lesser protein and carbs. On the flip side, it also has fewer calories per serving than animal milk.
Soy milk is an excellent alternative if you step away from animal-based milk.
Oat milk is the best choice for people with allergies and intolerances.
Since it is naturally free of nuts, soy, lactose, and gluten, there is little to worry about when it comes to oat milk.
One cup (8 oz) of unsweetened oat milk contains the following:
- Calories – 120
- Protein – 3g
- Fats – 5g
- Carbs – 16g
- Cholesterol – 0g
Often oat milk is fortified with nutrients such as riboflavin and vitamin B12.
These nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of the body. They contribute towards helping oxidative stress, improving hair and skin health, and elevating mood.
Oat milk is also high in beta-glucans. These are soluble fibers, which help control cholesterol absorption and help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Oat milk is the perfect choice for you should you want an allergen-free and healthy milk option.
Almond milk is a tasty and low-calorie drink that is growing increasingly popular. Its plant-based nature, low caloric count, and nutty flavor have made it one of the most sought-after animal milk alternatives.
One cup (8 oz) of unsweetened almond milk includes the following:
- Calories – 30 to 50
- Protein – 1g
- Fats – 3g
- Carbs – 1g
Almond milk is highly beneficial for you should you be trying to lose weight. Its low level of calories enables you to remain in a calorie deficit without skipping meals. It also has a minimal amount of sugar and aids those who have diabetes.
Most almond milk is fortified with calcium, vitamins, and other essential nutrients. Apart from this, almonds are also naturally high in vitamin E. Vitamin E helps with stress and inflammation.
Almond milk is also an excellent option for those with allergies. It is free of lactose and soya, two of the most common allergens.
Almond milk is one of the best choices for your vegan diet. Its low-calorie, high-nutrient, and allergy-free nature make it one of the best options for your lifestyle.
Should you follow the vegan lifestyle, goat milk is not the right option. It’s sourced from an animal and violates the core values of veganism. Its high lactose content also makes it not suitable for those with allergies and lactose intolerance.
Soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk are some of the best alternatives for you to choose from. These are 100% plant-based and are often fortified to remove any lack of nutrients consumers might face.
These are the best alternatives that don’t make you compromise your vegan diet.