Why You Should Choose Intermittent Fasting Over the Ketogenic Diet 

The ketogenic diet (keto) and intermittent fasting (IF) are among the most common diets that are routinely used to manage certain medical issues, including obesity, diabetes II, PCOS, and others.  In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of IF over keto.


No Food Group Restrictions

IF is not considered a diet. Rather, it’s a lifestyle that doesn’t require the elimination of any food group. In contrast, keto is an extremely restrictive diet in which you must take in high fat, moderate protein, and extremely low carbohydrates.

Many dietitians do not recommend keto because it’s not sustainable. It restricts fruits, low-fat dairy, starchy vegetables, legumes, and pulses[1], making it an unrealistic approach that people often struggle with in the long run. On the other hand, IF is more realistic and easy to follow as it does not restrict any food groups.


Escape From Keto Flu

The sudden shift from a carbohydrate-based diet to a fat-based diet can shock the body and cause electrolyte imbalance. When your body begins to draw its fuel from fat rather than carbohydrates, you may experience flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, lethargy, headache, fatigue, etc[2]. Most people suffering from these symptoms recover within a week or two; still, the chances of recurring symptoms are high.  IF does not cause a shift in fuel sources, making it an easier transition for the body.


Low-Risk of Nutritional Deficiencies

Due to keto’s food restrictions, nutritional deficiencies are likely for people following keto. These deficiencies may include:

  • Minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium.
  • Vitamins such as vitamins B and C [3].
  • Fiber deficiency due to restriction of fresh fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, etc.


On the other hand, IF does not restrict any food group, and you can maintain a healthy balance in your diet during your eating window.


Low Risk of Constipation

Keto guidelines restrict net carbohydrate intake to only 20g to 50g. Due to this extreme limitation of carbohydrates and restriction of high-fiber foods like whole grains, pulses, fruits, and starchy vegetables, people often face constipation while following keto.

On the contrary, IF allows you to take in the carbohydrates your  body needs from any food group, making the risk of constipation negligible.


Strengthened Bones

It has been clinically observed that people following keto face mineral losses in their bones due to food restrictions that affect bone density. A study has revealed that kids following keto for 6 months experienced a 68% decrease in bone density [4]. In another study, researchers found that bone breakdown blood markers increased in people who followed keto for 3.5weeks [5].

However, with IF, you can eat foods from all the food groups, thus reducing the risk of nutritional drops and deficiencies in the body.



Due to the extreme restriction of particular food groups, the ketogenic diet can expose people to many health issues such as keto flu, nutritional deficiencies, constipation, and decreased bone density. On the contrary, these issues are not prevalent in people following IF, making it preferable to the keto diet.




[1] Joshi S, Viswanathan M. Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane?. National library of medicine. 2018 Sep 148(3): 251–253. Link

[2] Emmanuelle CS, Kenneth CK, Bruce VT, Jason AH. Consumers report Keto Flu associated with the Ketogenic diet. National Library of medicine. 2020 Mar 13;7:20. Link

[3] Loren C. Nutritional Deficiencies of Ketogenic diets. March 2018. Link

[4] Peter JS, Jillian BR, Jock L, Judy N, Kellie D, Karen GS, Fergus JC, Ingrid ES, Mark TM. The effect of the ketogenic diet on the developing skeleton. National Library of medicine. 2017 Oct;136:62-66. Link

[5] Ida AH, Louise MB, John AH, Megan LR, Laura GL, Avish PS, Alannah KM, Jill JL, Marijke W, Lauren M, Kathryn EA. A short-term ketogenic diet impairs markers of bone health in response to exercise. Link