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Product Review: ThinkThin High Protein Bar

La Petite Maison Verte: Product Review: ThinkThin High Protein Bar

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Product Review: ThinkThin High Protein Bar

Whoa there, hold on.  Let's pump the brakes here for a minute.

Now I know you're thinking "But Julia, didn't you already review thinkThin bars?"

Aha!  As a matter of fact, I did already review thinkThin bars - the crunch bars (read my review here).

This time I am reviewing their 'High Protein Bar' - big difference, let me assure you.

After picking up one of each (crunch bar and high protein bar) the other day I finally had the chance to try their Chunky Peanut Butter flavor High Protein Bar.  The weather was so gorgeous here this weekend that after running errands around town on Sunday, Brian and I decided to grab Hudson, some reading material and a couple of beach chairs and spend a few hours just relaxing in the sun.  We headed on base and set up our chairs in the grass right overlooking the Tampa Bay.  I can't think of a better way to enjoy a lazy sunday with the two guys I love best....

I'd had a light lunch earlier in the day but knew I would be hungry again before dinner time so I packed my ThinkThin Chunky Peanut Butter High Protein Bar in my purse along with Marion Nestle's What to Eat (I didn't say it was light reading material) and a water bottle.  (Finally finished that clunker of a book by the way - whoohoo!).  Since my lunch had been a little light on protein I decided the thinkThin bar would help bring me back into balance and give me a couple of hours of satiety until we got home and had time to prepare dinner (Blackened Wild Alaskan Salmon with Kale and Brown Rice Pilaf - soo good!)

First off, this bar is very different from the thinkThin Crunch product I reviewed the other day.  Even though both had Chocolate and Peanut in the title, the Crunch bar was very much a nut bar with some protein - basically think a bunch of nuts glued together, then dipped in chocolate, while the Chunky Peanut Butter High Protein Bar is a soft-textured, peanut butter flavored protein bar, dipped in chocolate.  The differences between the two go well beyond texture though, to flavor and nutrition content.

I will say right up front that if you are very sensitive to the taste of artificial sweeteners (as in, you avoid artificially-sweetened foods that taste artificial) you will not like this product.  It reminded me of an artificially-sweetened Reece's peanut butter cup (albeit with a higher protein content) - a soft, peanut butter flavored center with a few very small chunks of peanut throughout - dipped in chocolate.  Don't think chunky peanut butter-texture, it's not nearly that full of peanuts.  In fact, I counted maybe 10 small pieces in the whole bar, so I think calling it Chunky Peanut Butter flavor is a bit misleading.  But even though I'm comparing it to a Reece's peanut butter cup, this definitely tastes like a protein bar.  Not bad, just don't eat it thinking it'll be a healthier substitute for your favorite candy (sorry!).

The texture was, as I already mentioned, soft and chewy.  Maybe that's why the artificial flavor dominated here more than with the thinkThin Crunch product - no crunching to distract you from the flavor (?).  Plus, it's crammed with twice the amount of protein than the thinkThin crunch (20 grams in the High Protein bar compared to 10 in the thinkThin Crunch) so all that protein has to taste like something, and in this case it just tastes like "protein blend" (Casein, Whey and Soy proteins - you know what this tastes like if you eat a lot of protein bars).

As with the thinkThin Crunch, with the High Protein Bar I was hoping for a satisfying snack that would hold me at least 2 hours until my next meal.  The thinkThin High Protein Bar delivered on that point while the thinkThin Crunch left me unsatisfied and looking for something else to eat.  I definitely felt like I had just eaten a substantial snack with this bar and there was no need to keep snacking once I had finished it.  I guess that's what 20 grams of protein will do for you!

The other good points:  the nutrition label.  With 240 calories, 8 grams of fat, 20 grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar this is a great choice for someone looking to supplement their diet with a lot of protein on the go, without spiking their blood sugar.  That being said, this product contains 11 grams of sugar alcohols which, while they don't impact blood sugar level like sugar, they can give some people digestive issues when consumed in a large quantity (I also mentioned this in my previous product review of the thinkThin Crunch).

My overall impression of the thinkThin High Protein Bar is that while it is a great source of protein and quite filling, some people will not be able to get past the artificial taste of the Malitol used to sweeten it combined with the taste of the protein blend used.  That being said, I would probably give it another shot if I needed a filling, high-protein snack, but I would definitely try one of their other flavors before I'd go back to the Chunky Peanut Butter flavor (the High Protein bar also comes in 11 other flavors including Brownie Crunch, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Lemon Cream Pie and Chocolate Espresso to name a few).  At $1.67 each (at my local grocery store), the price is on-par with other protein bars offered and kept the hunger-sharks away for about 2 hours.  I'd give it a B-.

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At January 20, 2012 at 7:15 PM , Anonymous HeidiRob said...

Wow, what a cute purse Jules ;)
I think I'll stick to my Larabars!


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