Goat’s milk is much healthier, especially when it is raw and organic. Goats produce about 2% of the global milk supply and it is interesting that most of the populations of people who consume goat milk cite a lower incidence of allergies and digestive complaints. Goat’s milk offers a wide variety of health benefits, with very few of the negative side effects of drinking regular cow milk. While cow’s milk has about seventeen percent fatty acids, goat’s milk has averages thirty-five percent fatty acids, making it more nutritionally wholesome. In fact, up to 50% of people with lactose intolerance to cow’s milk believe that they can easily digest goat’s milk, especially if it is raw. Goat milk is not very popular in the Western world. It is actually one of the most widely consumed milk drinks in the rest of the world because of its great taste and chock-full of nutrients. There are many benefits of goat milk includes: it is easier to digest, it has fewer allergenic proteins and causes less inflammation, it is high in calcium and fatty acids but low in cholesterol, it keeps skin looking good and it absorbs nutrients and minerals better than cows’ milk.
Goat milk and its products have played a major role in the economic viability in many parts of the world, especially in developing countries. A variety of manufactured products can be produced from goat milk, including fluid products (low fat, fortified, or flavored), fermented products such as cheese, yogurt or buttermilk, frozen products such as ice cream or frozen yogurt, butter, and condensed and powdered products. However, cheese is traditionally the main commercial goat milk product produced and consumed in large quantities around the world. Through utilization of manufacturing cheeses and other products, goat milk has been an important part of the economic well-being of developing countries.
In the realm of goat milk products, cheese seems to steal the show. Cheeses hold the greatest economic value among all manufactured goat milk products. Agricultural Handbook No. 54 of the U.S. Department of Agriculture describes over 400 varieties of goat cheese and lists over 800 names of cheeses, many of which are made from goat milk or combinations of goat with cow, ewe, or buffalo milk. The general procedures of cheese manufacturing are: 1) standardizing the milk, 2) setting the temperature, 3) adding starter cultures, 4) adding rennet, 5) cutting curds, 6) cooking, 7) draining whey, 8) salting, 9) hooping, 10) pressing, 11) packaging, and 12) aging. Soft cheeses are made by natural draining without pressing.
Cheese has a long history in the human diet. In ancient times, the cheese was primarily a concentrated form of milk with the benefit of a prolonged shelf life. The high content of fat and protein in cheese made it an energy-rich and nutritious food that was suitable for our hard-working ancestors. Recent advances in nutrition science have highlighted the contribution of cheese to nutrition and health. Cheese is a rich source of essential nutrients; in particular, proteins, bioactive peptides, amino acids, fat, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Ripened cheese is free of lactose and therefore suitable for the nutrition of lactose-intolerant individuals
Goat cheese is made from goat milk and is available in soft and hard forms like fresh cheese. It is healthier and better for us than the cheese made of cow milk. Goat cheese has a chemical profile that makes it favorable for people who suffer from aversions to dairy products made from cow’s milk. Goat cheese contains less lactose than cow’s milk and cheese and contains smaller fat globules, which make the cheese easier to digest. A serving of goat cheese generally contains fewer harmful substances than a typical brand of cow’s cheese, while providing similar, if not more, vitamin and mineral content.
Goat Cheese nutrition facts [Serving Size/2 Tbsp. (1oz., 28g)]
Total Carbohydrates (1g), Calories (60), Dietary Fiber (0g), Calories from Fat (45), Sugar (0g),Total Fat (5g), Protein (4g), Saturated Fat (2.5g), Cholesterol (l20mg), Trans Fat (0g), Sodium (65mg), Calcium (2%)daily value.
Goat cheese, like goat milk, is easier on the human digestive system and lower in calories, cholesterol, and fat than its bovine counterpart. In addition, goat milk cheese is a good source of calcium, protein, vitamin A, vitamin K, phosphorus, niacin, and thiamin. There are many reasons which describe that goat cheese is much better than cow cheese.
- It has fewer calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese clocks in at just 75 calories per ounce significantly less than popular cow cheeses like mozzarella (85), brie (95), Swiss (108), and cheddar (115).
- It has more vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients vitamin A, vitamin B, riboflavin, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. The rich amounts of vitamins, minerals like phosphorus, potassium, copper, and antioxidants, and proteins in goat’s cheese make it a very healthy option as it is low fat, low calories and healthy for the diabetes patients. It keeps the insulin rises in check and therefore, can be moderately consumed by sugar patients.
- It is easier to digest. Goat milk has less lactose and a slightly different protein structure than cow’s milk. These subtle shifts actually make a big difference: Even people who are allergic to cow’s milk can usually drink goat’s milk without issue.
- Goats are easier on the earth. Since they’re smaller than cows, they require less space and less food. Goats can also survive in places where other dairy animals literally can’t: They’re opportunistic foragers who happily munch on a wide variety of plants that cows won’t eat, like a desert scrub, weeds, trees, shrubs, and aromatic herbs.
- They are milk-making machines. These things are small but mighty: If you give an average cow and an average goat 70 pounds of food each, the goat will produce one more gallon of milk than the cow.
- It has low fat. Goat cheese is a low-fat alternative to regular cheese. It contains lesser amounts of fat than other cheese forms, and replacing your regular cheese with goat cheese can help you reduce the volume of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Goat cheese contains just a little more than half the amount of fat than regular cheese.
- Good for lactose intolerant people. Goat milk contains significantly lower amounts of lactose than regular milk. Lactose is usually lost when cheese is churned, and goat cheese thus contains an exceptionally low amount of lactose. This makes it the ideal cheese for people who suffer from lactose intolerance.
- It has low sodium. Goat cheese contains less than half of the amount of sodium than regular cheese. Excess sodium can lead to chronic conditions and potentially fatal diseases like heart attack and even stroke (4). Usually, doctors recommend we have no more than 2,300mg of sodium daily. If you are someone who cannot resist the cheese, you might want to switch to goat cheese.
- It has sufficient protein. Goat cheese is not as rich as regular cheese in terms of protein content, but it does provide a decent amount of the nutrient, which is enough for the proper functioning of the body. Goat cheese usually contains slightly more than half of the protein level as cheddar cheese. Doctors usually recommend women to consume 46g of protein, while men should ideally consume 56 g of protein every day.
- It is rich in calcium. Goat cheese is especially rich in calcium, with greater calcium concentrations than cow cheese. Calcium is especially important for the body, helping strengthen bones and teeth as well as protecting you from diseases. Calcium has many benefits for the human body.
- Effects on bones. Goat’s cheese contains good amounts of calcium and phosphorous which is beneficial for bone health and makes it strong and healthy. Since its low in calories and high in calcium, it can be consumed well by people who are calcium deficient and suffer the risk of bone diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis.
- It has great immunity. Goats cheese is healthier for the body as it contains antioxidants and antibodies particularly selenium, that protects the body from infections and germs. The nutrients and good bacteria in the cheese keep the gut healthy by its probiotic activity and keep the bad bacteria away from the system.
- Protection from anemia. People suffering from anemia can safely incorporate goat cheese into their diet as it contains copper which is a vital element in the production of red blood cells.
- It provides nerve health. Goat’s milk finds its use in traditional therapies to control and rectify nerve disorders. It can rejuvenate a sick body and help in faster recovery and hence goat cheese would also be supplying the same minerals and nutrients.
- Protection from toxicity. Goats are mostly not as chemically fed as the cows as hence their cheeses are much lesser laced with chemicals than that of cow’s milk. Since this cheese does not contain as many antibodies and chemical toxins present in other animal cheeses, it is healthier for the body.
This article is jointly authored by Dr. Muhammad Saeed, Usama Hasan, and Iqra Yasmin-National Institute of Food Science & Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad.