Is Goat Milk a Good Substitute?

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

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus" www.nutrifocus.net, in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and Healthology.com, Inc as well as continuing education courses for www.care2learn.com. She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.