Garlic vs. Shallot — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison
Garlic is richer in minerals and vitamins than shallot. It contains four times more Vitamin B2 and calcium, two times more Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium. It also has more carbs and protein. On the other hand, shallot has less saturated fat, sodium, and folate than garlic.
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Garlic and onions are widely used in many dishes, but do they have any health benefits? We are going to explore all the nutritional aspects of these herbs, focusing on their differences. Garlic is an herb that is grown worldwide. Shallot was classified as a separate species; however, now it is considered a botanical variety of the onion.
Garlic, the Latin name Allium sativum, belongs to the Allium genus. Garlic is very close to onion and leek; it’s a seasoning herb native to Central Asia. There are hundreds of varieties or cultivars, of which the most famous are: hard-necked garlic (Ophioscorodon) and soft-necked garlic. Shallot also belongs to the Allium genus; it is probably native to Southwest Asia. Yellow shallot (Golden shallot) and French Gray shallots are the most known shallot types.
Shallot is a small, bulb-like onion with a distinct tapered shape. Shallot has brown or copper-colored skin with purple-hued inner layers. In contrast, garlic is bigger than shallot; with irregularly shaped cloves, the bulb has fragile skin color from red to brown.
Nutritionally the two herbs are relatively alike. However, please find a nutrition infographic at the bottom of this page to better understand the main differences between garlic and shallot.
Garlic is richer in protein, fats, and carbs and contains fewer sugars. On the other hand, shallot contains more fiber than garlic. Both herbs contain no cholesterol.
The number of calories is two times higher in garlic than in shallot. Garlic contains 149 calories per 100 g, whereas shallot contains only 72 calories per 100 g.
The glycemic indexes of garlic and shallot are equal. Bot herbs have a GI of 30.
On average, both garlic and shallot are alkaline; however, the acidity of shallot is higher than that of garlic. It has a pH equal to 4.6 (alkaline), while garlic has a pH equal to 2.6 (alkaline).
Garlic is richer in minerals than shallot. It has three times more calcium, two times more magnesium, and zinc. The amounts of iron, phosphorus, and copper are also higher in garlic. On the other hand, shallot contains less sodium than garlic.
Potassium is a mineral that has essential functions in the body. It can help reduce the risk of kidney stones and normalize water balance and blood pressure. Garlic has relatively more potassium than shallot. It contains 401 µg potassium per 100 g, whereas shallot has 334 µg of this mineral.
In comparison, the amount of vitamins is higher in garlic. Garlic is an excellent source of Vitamin A and Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B5. Also, it contains four times higher Vitamin B2 and two times higher Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B6 than shallot. On the other hand, shallot has ten times more folate than garlic.
The health benefits of garlic and shallot have been associated with their wide range of physicochemical applications.
Both garlic and shallot contain potent antioxidants, such as quercetin, kaempferol, and allicin, that may protect your cells from the damage of free radicals. By reducing the risk of free radicals, these herbs can help you avoid oxidative stress and several brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia .
Besides, the antioxidants of garlic and shallot have been associated with reducing inflammation and other chronic diseases .
Garlic has an outstanding property, boosting energy levels in the body and, by that, burning all the calories. Garlic is excellent for your metabolism and appetite; it can keep you fuller for longer and prevent you from overeating.
Based on some studies, shallot may prevent excess fat accumulation and lower total body fat percentage.
Besides, shallot contains fewer calories, fats, and carbs than garlic, and in comparison, it is more suitable in the case of low calories and carbs diets .
Fresh shallot and garlic preparations inhibit lipid oxidation and may lower the LDL (bad cholesterol) level, so they have antiatherosclerotic activity [4,5].
Some studies show that garlic may decrease blood pressure through various mechanisms:
- According to this rat study, garlic may decrease blood pressure by increasing NO synthesis, which is an important vasodilator in our organism .
- Garlic may also lower blood pressure by inhibiting ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme), and ACE-inhibitor medications (Captopril, Lisinopril, etc.) also work by this mechanism [7,8].
According to this study, the components of Persian shallot may also help to lower blood pressure .
Garlic extracts have significant antithrombotic properties, which are important for people with atrial fibrillation and after coronary artery stenting [10, 11].
Organosulfur in garlic has been identified as effective in reducing the risk of deadly brain tumors. It has demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells . Garlic contains three organosulfur, DAS, DADS, and DATS, of which the most decisive anticancer impact has DATS.
According to the study, the aqueous extract of shallot has the most anti-growth activity on the cancer cell. Quercetin, kaempferol, and allicin are the potent anticancer compounds of shallot, connected to lower the risk of oral and lung cancers .
Research recommends using garlic in managing type 2 diabetes only under doctors’ guidance; however, it still has a beneficial effect on blood sugar levels. Garlic contains allicin, allyl propyl disulfide, and S-allyl cysteine sulfoxide, raising insulin levels in the blood. The beneficial effects on blood sugars have both raw and cooked garlic .
One study found that consuming shallots significantly reduced LDL-C, TG, and TC levels in women with diabetes. However, more research is needed .
Boosting Immune System
Both shallot and garlic are packed with immune-boosting nutrients like sulfur compounds, zinc, and vitamin C. They are excellent sources of several antioxidants, such as quercetin, a potent flavonoid that has antiviral properties to protect the body from inflammation .
The sulfur compounds in both of these herbs have properties to protect the body from heavy metal toxicity. According to the study, garlic can reduce lead levels in the blood by 19%. It also can reduce several clinical signs of toxicity, including headaches and blood pressure .
Side effects of using garlic generally are uncommon. Overall, garlic appears not to affect drug metabolism. Research recommends it is prudent to stop taking high doses of garlic seven to 10 days before surgery because garlic can prolong bleeding time.
Shallot is likely safe when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in food. However, side effects might include stomach distress or pain after eating shallot .
Fat Type Comparison
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in Glycemic Index||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Glycemic Index diet||Equal|
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Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.
- Garlic - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169230/nutrients
- Shallot - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170499/nutrients
All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.