I f cutting back on sugar is one of your New Year’s resolutions, don’t think that swilling reduced-calorie sodas such as Coca-Cola Life or Pepsi True will do much for your strategy. Sure, they’re lower in sugar than regular soda, which packs about 10 teaspoons into a 12-ounce can—but they still contain about 6 teaspoons. That’s the daily limit for women, according to the American Heart Association; for men, it’s 9 teaspoons.

So what’s different? Coca-Cola Life and Pepsi True are sweetened with a mixture of sugar and stevia, a no-calorie sweetener from plant leaves. Though the green cans may lead you to think these drinks are better for you, don’t lose sight of the fact that no soda is a healthy choice.

Some studies show that just one can of regular soda per day is enough to raise your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

As for stevia, “it’s probably safe, but we’d like to see more research,” says Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. And most colas have artificial caramel coloring. Some types contain 4-MeI, a potential carcinogen, but you can’t tell that from the label. So we recommend limiting food and drinks with caramel color. We didn’t test Coca-Cola Life or Pepsi True for 4-MeI.

To see how these sodas compared taste-wise, we had both our panel of trained tasters and more than 100 Consumer Reports' staffers put them to the test.

The panelists held a blind tasting of each brand’s regular, diet, and lower-sugar versions (either Coca-Cola Life or Pepsi True). Neither Coca-Cola Life or Pepsi True matched the bold, balanced cola flavors of the originals. The artificial sweetener taste was noticeable in both, although not as much as in the diet sodas. Pepsi True had slightly less of an artificial taste than Coca-Cola Life, the experts reported.

In our cola challenge, staffers were asked which cola, Coke or Pepsi, they were partial to, and then they tasted the regular and lower-sugar versions of their preferred brand side-by-side in a blind tasting. Regular Coke and Pepsi came out on top, but about 20 percent of the staffers said they liked Coca-Cola Life or Pepsi True better.

Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the January 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.