Is Goat Milk a Good Substitute?

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
I cannot drink cow's milk due to an intolerance. Are goat's milk and cheese okay to have?

Thanks.

ANSWER

Hello, I am assuming you are "lactose intolerant" and that is your intolerance to cow's milk. There are varying degrees of lactose intolerance. Some people can tolerate cow's milk if they drink it along with a meal and in small amounts. Some can tolerate cheese and yogurt while others may not. As far as goats milk, it does contain lactose so it depends on the degree of your intolerance whether you can tolerate it or not. Be aware that goats milk also contains much higher amounts of vitamin A than cow's milk, which is a vitamin that needs to be consumed in moderation during pregnancy. So, it will depend upon your degree of lactose intolerance as to what you can and cannot tolerate.

The concern with not drinking milk is that you will be missing calcium and vitamin D from the diet. Therefore it is important to include nondairy foods that are high in calcium such as dark green leafy vegetables (broccoli and kale), and fish with soft, edible bones, such as salmon and sardines (be careful to moderate your intake of fish), calcium fortified orange juice, and soy milk with calcium added (soy milk does not contain lactose). It is also important to speak with your physician so that he/she can prescribe supplements as needed to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients important to pregnancy. A registered dietitian can be a big help in planning meals and snacks that can contribute to your daily calcium and vitamin D intake.

If however your intolerance is not lactose intolerance but an allergy than it is a different story all together! In that instance you should speak to your doctor for appropriate substitutions.

-- Kimberly, RD LD