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thinkThin High Protein Bars Review: Are They a Healthy Choice?

April 15, 2017   25 Comments

There are so many bars on the market and a reader asked me if I thought thinkThin high protein bars are a healthy choice.

thinkThin High Protein Bars Review: Are They a Healthy Choice?

I had never seen them before but I was intrigued. If you have been following my reviews such as my Are LUNA BARs Good for You? post and my Clif Z bar review, you know that I have three basic requirements:

My ideal bar would have:

1. Five grams of sugar per bar.
2. About 150 calories (the right size for a snack).
3. Have a delicious flavor and texture.

What is SO interesting here is that this bar – the thinkThin high protein features ZERO grams of sugar! Whoa! It also has 20 grams of protein and it one flavor is called “brownie crunch”

For the WW members, this bar is 6 SmartPoints. First, it misses on my calorie requirement of 150. This bar is 230 calories and I was surprised by the amount of saturated fat – 15% of your daily allowance. That seems like a lot for me in a bar.

How did it taste? I was very surprised that it had a sweet flavor because of the no sugar. After I ate the bar, I had a stomachache (bloated with gas) and I wasn’t sure why. Take a look up at that label. Do you see sugar alcohol – 12 grams?

Sugar alcohol, which can also be found in sugar free gum, can cause stomach distress because it is not digestible (that is why it is a zero calorie sweetener).

I did actually like the taste of this but I wouldn’t eat it again because of the 230 calories and the bad stomachache.

thinkThin also makes a 150 calorie protein and fiber bar. It has only 5 grams of sugar! Is this the holy grail of snack bars?

For WW members, this bar is 5 SmartPoints. Again, I was surprised by the saturated fat but I can live with it. Where I get into trouble is the fiber.

This has chicory root fiber which can also give you a stomachache. I wrote about it in Should You Be Concerned about Inulin or Chicory Root Fiber.

This added fiber doesn’t give me gas but many of my readers have had trouble with it.

What about taste? The only one that I liked was the Chunky Chocolate Peanut. I don’t have a problem with chicory root fiber so I would actually eat this as a snack bar. It tasted like a candy bar – yum! It was chewy and sweet. I found it very satisfying.

It was great to find at least one bar at 150 calories, 5 grams of sugar, and enjoy eating it.I don't think I would love it every day but it would be fine in a pinch.

What do you think of thinkThin bars? Have you tried them?


Other posts you might like:


Are LUNA Bars Healthy? An Unbiased Review

Are LUNA Bars Healthy? An Unbiased Review

LUNA BAR is marketed exclusively to women as a healthy choice. Can a flavor like chocolate cupcake be healthy?


Cliff Z Bar Review

A Brownie as An Energy Snack?: Clif Z Bar for Kids

I don’t know how many of you would like a chocolate brownie that is also a healthy snack –but I guess that would be a majority.



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25 Comments:

Quest bars have lower point, less sugar alcohols (5), 1 sugar and 20 g protein. And, they taste a whole lot better.

on April 15, 2017

I too have been searching for a protein bar that tastes decent and DOESN'T have the garbage artificial sweeteners....and no soy.... seriously hard to do!!! I have been eating power crunch bars but the fructose in them is something I didn't want. They also don't have much fiber🙁. BUT I have found these new NARS called B Up... so far I love them, a little highr on the Calories but fiber is high and protein is high an they taste decent enough for me. I would love to hear your take on them Lisa. Thank you for your great posts and I hope you check them out. Have a great holiday!!!

on April 15, 2017

Lori have you tried Rx Bars? They are expensive but all natural and great in a pinch.

on April 15, 2017

I still cannot understand why they have so much sodium. I also prefer the test of Quest bars.

on April 15, 2017

Sue Anna off hand do you know how many calories the Quest bars are?

on April 16, 2017

Great review. I never tried thinkthin but I guess I have to now.

Thumbs up for the review.

on April 16, 2017

Try Muscletech Mission bars, good and affordable from Walmart. Sweetened with stevia. Quest bars use sucralose as a sweetener in many of their bars. Great grab and go snack for 200 cal average.

on April 19, 2017

Try Quest bars. High in fiber and low in sugar for 180 calories.

on April 29, 2017

The ThinkThin bars taste great but after having one after my bike ride I had diarrhea for two days and felt like crap. Did research and The sugar alcohol ingredient in these has Maltitol which research shows causes stomach distress like bloating and has as well.

on July 21, 2017

I just tried the Chunky Chocolate Peanut thinkThin bar. It is really tasty and much better than any Qwest bar I've ever tried!

on August 1, 2017

I had the 230 calorie bar (Chocolate Fudge) because it has more protein 20g I use it to replace my breakfast this morning so not too concern about calories. I liked the taste and had zero stomach problems. I ate it at 8am and is now 11:50am and not hungry at all yet. I wouldn't eat it everyday but I bought a few as a back up meal replacement for my busy office hours.

on October 26, 2017

It's pretty common for erythritol to give people diarrhea or bloating. However, that's not true for everyone! I get those symptoms form whey protein, but not erythritol. ThinkThin now has plant-based bars with 5g of sugar and no whey protein. There are pros and cons to all the bars, I've yet to find one I truly love.

on November 21, 2017

Have tried both quest and Think! I love both of these. Think! bar keeps me full for at least 3 hours. No digestive complaints. Quest does give me gas, and not as filling. However, i like to bring these for snacks when biking/golfing and i prefer the Quest as it does not have a coating that melts in the heat.

on October 17, 2018

So good to know I am not the only one having stomachache after eating the bar and now I know the reason. I thought my minor lactose intolerance had to do something with it.

Thanks

on December 18, 2018

I had one of the new high protein Think Thin bars (20g protein) and my stomach has been killing me! I think the discomfort hit about 45 minutes after eating it. It feels like horrible reflux and aching at my upper stomach area, and swallowing makes it worse. I’m eating Tums like crazy and Gas-X. It seems a bit better but I don’t know if this problem is related to the soy protein in the bar. I’ve never had this kind before. I can’t drink soy milk so I’m suspicious about the soy. Guess more research is needed for me.

on March 1, 2019

I have been eating these once a day for years and they have given me no problems. My stomach never hurts and it gives me a good feeling and energy after I eat it. I'm a big health nut also and watch my nutrition intake. I guess the bloating feeling/reflux only happens to certain people. It's a good healthy protein bar and is great to add to breakfast in the morning

on March 3, 2019

Last week I had a Think Thin bar. Within an hour, I started having gastro intestinal distress. Thanks for your post on Alcohol sugars! This bar had 20! I too was trying Gas X, and was in great pain , bloated as if 8 month pregnant. It was horrible...never again. Rx Bars and Luna Protein bars I can have.

on May 19, 2019

The sodium in these was a deal breaker for me. I didn’t even buy them. My bar of choice is Built Bars! Only 3g of sodium, 15 grams of protein and just 110 calories and only 3SP! They are available online only. I love Built bars. Especially frozen! They get so chewy when eaten cold. When you order/reorder, use code BIGCLIMB2019 for a 10% discount, free US shipping and any current promotions too. Each time it is used, Built will donate $2 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Win/Win!

on July 11, 2019

ThinkThin bars are delicious & filling for me. My favorite is the Lemon bar. I would recommend them highly although I don’t eat them everyday because of the saturated fat percentage but gladly have one three or four times a week-20 grams of protein, 0 sugar works & Sugar Alcohol doesn’t effect me.

on July 28, 2019

Another big problem with Think bars is there is no real food in them! Look again at the ingredient list, no actual food, let alone whole grains. While Cliff bars do have a lot of sugar in them, the amount of fat vs calories is fine (oatmeal walnut and blueberry crisp, choc chip varieties) contains real food/grain items, plus at least 9 grains of protein, often 10 or even 11 grams in some flavors, have organic grains and whole grains... no whole grains in Think bars. I will have to try Quest, but seriously, I cannot see spending up to $3 ($2.99) on one bar. Thanks for this blog.

on August 15, 2019

The body has to have time to adjust to sugar alcohol consumption, just like with other things like increased fiber.

I can eat two or three of the Think Thin bars in a day without the slightest bit of gastrointestinal trouble. I can even eat two of the 20g of protein bars in a row, including the White Chocolate which has more maltitol.

Someone mentioned erythritol. It is the lowest of the sugar alcohols for gastrointestinal distress. If you're having trouble with it then you're really sensitive! I have found that even the most stressful sugar alcohols (e.g. xylitol) can be tolerated if you give your body time to adjust to them. Some take longer that others (e.g. xylitol).

Stevia, by the way, is linked in multiple studies to DNA fragmentation. Steviol, a metabolite, causes DNA to break apart. Not something I want to consume!

on November 1, 2019

"no actual food, let alone whole grains."

Not true. Whey protein is one of the most nutritious foods a person can eat, as long as it isn't tainted by being produced in toxic locations. (Casein is ok. They're good in combination because casein is absorbed more slowly but whey is generally the best.) That's why I like Tera's unsweetened whey. It comes from Wisconsin milk, not China. The Chinese government actually admitted that a huge portion of its soil is badly polluted. Consumer Reports and others have found heavy metals and arsenic in protein products. The US has heavily-polluted soil in some places, though — like former cotton fields. That causes US brown rice to be the highest in arsenic in some tests. Avoid brown rice at all costs. It's sad that the government allows it to be in baby food and pet food. It's a cheap filler that is passed off as being a health food and it has high arsenic to boot. Wouldn't it be nice to live in a place where the government would show it cares about health instead of having what the writer who is running for president characterized as a "sick care system"? Guess there's more money to be made in having ordinary people be guinea pigs.

on November 1, 2019

Think Thin Protein Bars (150 calories each) are my goto snack. I golf a lot and they keep me going through the 18 holes. The 20 gram bars do upset my stomach, but the 10 gram bars never have. And, with a little searching, the can typically be found on sale in a grocery or health food store. Two thumbs up here.

on January 5, 2020

I was thinking of trying the Think Kid, a smaller version by the company Think. Looking at the nutrition list and food ingredients they don't have sugar alcohols and the calorie range is good at 100 (4 g sugar, 7 gm protein). It does have some Chicory Root Fiber, which can be problematic for some or if eating to many in a day. With the Think Thin, there is no way I could eat it due to the sugar alcohol (malitol).

on January 5, 2020

I like think thin protein bars. I was under the impression that nine grams of fat was not bad at all. And I liked the fact that it is high in calorie. I need stuff that is high in calorie so that I don’t have to be eating low calorie things all day long to reach my quota

on February 5, 2020


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