Think Products has been one busy company.
They make the gluten free snack products ThinkThin protein bars, ThinkThin dessert bars, and ThinkThin bites.
Julia from Think Products contacted me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing some of the bars.
They were kind enough to send me a few samples to try.
Funnily enough, most of the flavors they sent were ones I had already reviewed. However, I did try the Chocolate Covered Strawberry dessert bar for the first time, and I have to revise my previously posted opinion of the White Chocolate Chip bar.
But first: the ingredients.
Because I’m lazy like that, I’m going to copy and paste my take on the ingredients from my post last year. This has not changed.
“At first inspection the Think Thin nutrition facts look pretty good. It’s labeled as sugar free, has about 240 calories give or take depending on the flavor, 20 grams of protein, 7-8 grams of fat, and 26 grams of carbs, 1 gram of which is fiber. However, it also has 10-13 grams of sugar alcohols. This is where it gets interesting.
A quick primer on sugar alcohols-some of you may already be uncomfortably familiar with sugar alcohols.
I know I am.
Sugar alcohols, commonly seen as malitol, mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, and lactitol, are frequently used in items marketed
as “sugar free.” They are sweeteners, and not fully absorbed into the small intestine. (Alert!Alert!) What is not absorbed by the small intestine is converted into a short chained fatty acid in the large intestine.
Sugar alcohols DO HAVE CALORIES! Approximately 2-3 calories per gram, whereas a “regular” carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram. So when you see labels that subtract out sugar alcohols from carbohydrate grams to give you a “net carb” count-that’s not strictly true.
Sugar alcohols do tend to not affect blood sugar as much as glucose, or sugar. However, they’re not a “free food.”
Here’s the bad part. Sugar alcohols, due to the whole absorption thing, can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and gas. Our celiac tummies seem to be a bit more susceptible than your average Joe or Jane. I know mine is. Strike 1.
So now a closer look at the rest of the ingredients. First ingredient is a protein blend, OK great, but wait. It has soy protein as a second ingredient in the blend. Strike 2 for me. I can tolerate some natural soy foods, like edamame, but not concentrated into supplements. Then the sugar alcohols next. More soy in “crisps.” The rest of the ingredients appear “mostly harmless” (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference ) and vary dependent on the flavor. They contain 25% of RDA for calcium and Vitamin C, A, B12, B6, and thiamin, 30% for iron, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Nothing crazy, nice to have those in there though.”
I do not know if the formulations of the bars have changed slightly since I wrote the original review last year. Based on my tastebuds and stomach, I’d say it has.
These bars were definitely not as dry as the ones I had tried previously. Also, I did not experience any stomach upset this go ’round. Now, it’s completely possible that my digestive system is just in better shape now, so who knows, but that’s my (n=1, which is incredibly poor reliability from a research standpoint and is not to be trusted to carry over to others) observation.
New flavor: Chocolate Covered Strawberry:
I was really impressed with this. Ordinarily, I run like hell from fruit flavored stuff that isn’t fruit. It tastes incredible artificial to me. However, this had a nice, subtle, not too artificial strawberry flavor. And chocolate covered fruit is one of my all time favorite combinations. This is one of their “dessert” bars. They are smaller, have a lower calorie count at 200 calories, and have slightly less protein than the “protein bars” at 15 grams. The other dessert bar flavors are tangerine creamsicle and lemon cream pie, which I have not tried. GFree TV has done a review on Think Thin as well, and Debbie did mention she really likes the lemon flavor.
Old flavor but different? White Chocolate Chip:
This bar is different from the others in that the bar itself it chocolate flavored and colored, and the coating is white chocolate. I’m not a white chocolate girl, but this was actually quite good. It seemed to balance the flavor of the bar itself quite well. It was not nearly as dry and flavorless as I indicated in my previous review. Good improvements there. Either it was reformulated, or the bar I had purchased in Whole Foods had been sitting around for a while and wasn’t as fresh as these coming right from the company.
Overall, these are a nice option to have. They are available very widely. I even see them in the grocery store. They do have a chocolate coating and so are prone to meltage in the summer heat. Although I prefer whole foods whenever possible, these are great in a pinch, or to quench the sweet tooth fairly harmlessly. For another taste perspective, you can read my friend Kim’s review. Her main blog is Gluten Free is Life, but she is a prolific writer in the gluten free world.
Have you tried other flavors? What did you think, and which was your favorite?
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