Think Before You Choose the thinkThin® Protein Bar

If you think a thinkThin Bar is a healthy snack, because it’s:

  • high protein
  • sugar-free
  • gluten-free

… think again.

Check out the ingredients (the most objectionable ingredients are bold): Protein blend (calcium caseinate, soy protein isolate, whey protein isolate), glycerin, coating (maltitol, cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, sodium caseinate, dairy oil, soya lecithin, natural flavors, salt), glycerin, maltitol syrup, ground peanuts, soy crisps (soy protein isolate, rice flour, calcium carbonate), water, peanuts, canola oil, peanut flour, natural flavors, tricalcium phosphate, soya lecithin, salt. Vitamins and Minerals: ascorbic acid, d-alpha tocopherol, niacinamide, zinc oxide, vitamin A palmitate, electrolytic iron, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper gluconate, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, vitamin B12.

Here’s the lowdown:

  1. Soy is the main protein source. Read my post about the dangers of soy. Most protein bars have soy as the main protein source; this is not good by any measure. Consider eating real food instead.
  2. Glycerin is not food.
  3. Maltitol syrup, like high-fructose corn syrup, is a processed syrup that has the same number on the glycemic index as sugar (about 60), but the body can’t process it as efficiently.
  4. There is no nutritional or culinary reason to use cheap, refined canola oil. Many other fats are superior: coconut oil, ghee, butter, olive oil …
  5. Folic acid is popular for enriching industrial foods; too much folic acid from enriched foods can mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency. You cannot get too much folic acid from food that naturally contains it (such as leafy vegetables, citrus, beans), but avoid food “enriched” with folic acid.

Want to eat a good snack? How about an organic Pink Lady apple and some organic peanut butter? If you need a bar for convenience, LaraBars  are made with whole food; these are the only ones I buy … and I still rarely eat them. Think real food, not faux food; raise your standards. Be well!


Filed under Real Food Education

12 responses to “Think Before You Choose the thinkThin® Protein Bar

  1. Oh, NO!! Thanks for posting this, Kelly! Emily Mankin survives on these because they are gluten free! This is a fantastic look at what is “disguised” as good nutrition. I will certainly re-evaluate and consider the Lara bar…. yikes!

    • Hi, Sharon – We’ve had a lot of brainwashing from industrial food companies, with support from the government. That’s taken us down a path away from real food and toward a lot of illness, as well as misinformation about what’s good for you and what’s not. I was overfed and undernourished for years, as well as neurotic about food. Now that I’m focusing on nutrient-dense real food, I feel and look so much better. Check out Nina Planck’s book, Real Food: What to Eat and Why. It’s an eye-opener, and feels intuitively right to me. When a food label reads like a science experiment … reach for something else.

  2. This was so informative! I was in question as to how healthy these bars really were…now the proof’s in the pudding!

  3. Thank you for the break-down. Very helpful. 🙂

  4. nelly m.

    How about the protein bars Clif, Luna, Detour are they as bad as the Think Thin bars? I started working out and find that I’m very hungry after. The bars seem to help curb my appetite till next meal. Please help very confused Tks

  5. Kathryn Douglass

    I purchased several of these bars, believing that they would be a good gluten free snack to take on a long trip. I became violently ill after eating the first one, but didn’t associate it with the bars until I ate the second one the next day, with the same results. I have no idea what ingredient made me sick, but I certainly will not be eating these bars again.

  6. Kate

    Maltitol is a sugar alcohol. It has a laxative effect.

  7. Sageincali

    Your information is spot on. Upon folding the label back, I was totally surprised to read that there are 300 mg of sodium in one bar, and 11g of sugar alcohol. Very deceptive and misleading to promote these bars as anything but the junk food they are. I am telling everyone I know not to purchase or consume these. thank you for the info.

  8. blue/wo

    I have and will continue to eat my think thin bars they do what they are supposed to do and is an easy meal for me. A n apple and peanut butter is a messy and not and easy meal to just pulled out of my bag when needed. If the sugar alcohol .just be in the legal limits for them to say no sugar and one bar keeps my sugar level in control

  9. David T Shelton

    I use 1ThinkThin bar a day for breafast, and listening to my body for negative effects. My physician is happy my A1C is down from 9 to 6.8. Pretty amazing. I hope these bars are OK for me, and so far seem to be tolerable. Thanks.

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