Bacteria are naturally found everywhere in our environment, including on our bodies, animals, plants, foods, and utensils used to prepare and store foods. Depending on the type, some bacteria can be helpful and some can be harmful. Safe food handling helps stop harmful bacteria from growing in foods and prevents cross-contamination.


a type of liquid produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Bile helps the body digest fats.

Binge Eating

Eating a large amount of food in a short period of time, together with a loss of self-control. Binge eating may be accompanied by feelings of guilt, shame and embarrassment. Other signs of binge eating are eating in secret, eating large amounts of food even when not hungry and eating until uncomfortably full.

Binge Eating Disorder

An eating disorder that involves binge eating behaviour but it is not followed by purging.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make hard, clear plastics. It can be found in reusable water bottles, baby bottles and children’s sippy cups. BPA is also used in the lining found on the inside of metal cans.


This cooking technique helps to soften vegetables so that they are milder or have slightly less bite. Add vegetables to a pot of boiling liquid for a few minutes and then transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking. This can also be used to make peeling fruit or vegetables easier.

Blood cholesterol

Cholesterol found in your blood. This can be from dietary sources as well your body’s natural production of this substance. Too much cholesterol in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease.

Blood glucose

Blood glucose is the amount of glucose/sugar that is in your blood at any given time. When blood glucose levels are high, you may be diagnosed with diabetes. The target blood glucose range for most people with diabetes is between 4.0 and 7.0 mmol/L before meals. Two hours after eating a meal, the target range is 5.0 to 10.0 mmol/L. Talk with your doctor, nurse or dietitian to know what your blood glucose goals are.

Blood Glucose Targets

These are your individual goals to help manage diabetes. In general, people with diabetes should aim for blood glucose levels to be 4-7 mmol/L before eating, and in the range 5-10 mmol/L two hours after eating.

Blood glucose test

A blood glucose test is a test that is done to see how much sugar is in your blood. This can be done by giving blood at a lab and having it tested. It can also be done at home with a glucometer.

Blood lipid levels

Levels of cholesterol and fatty acids found in the blood.

Blood Pressure

Measures the force applied to the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood through the body. Blood pressure readings are given as two numbers, such as 110/70. The first number is the pressure when the heart contracts and pushes blood out (called systolic). The second number is the pressure in the arteries when the heart is at rest (called diastolic). Normal blood pressure is below 120/80.

Blood vessel

A blood vessel carries blood throughout the body. The two main types of blood vessels in our body are arteries and veins.

Bone density

Also called “bone mass”, this refers to the thickness of your bones. As you grow older, your bones naturally become thinner, weaker and less dense. The thicker and more dense your bones are, the better your chances of preventing osteoporosis later in life.


A serious and often deadly form of food poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum (C. botulinum) bacteria. The bacteria produce a toxin when found in moist, low-acid and airless environments. Signs of botulism in food include foaming and bulging or leaking cans.


This is a cooking technique that involves two steps. The first step is to sear the food so it develops some colour. The second step is to cover the food with a liquid and simmer in the oven or on the stove top. This technique is most often used with tough meats but works with vegetables too.

Bulimia Nervosa

An eating disorder identified by cycles of binge eating and purging. Binging (eating large amounts of food) is followed by purging (vomiting, laxative use) to get rid of the unwanted food.