Given the higher burden of risk factors for metabolic syndrome (MetS) on morbidity and mortality, it is critical to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome in the first place. While dietary habits have been favorably associated with some of the factors included in the definition of metabolic syndrome, limited and inconsistent data have been reported on the role of nutrition in the development of metabolic syndrome. Currently, there is no consensus as to which dietary patterns would confer the lowest risk of MetS. Identification of dietary patterns, food groups, or nutrients that may lower the incidence of metabolic syndrome could improve prevention strategies as well as prognosis among subjects with existing MetS. This manuscript reviews current evidence on dietary patterns, consumption of fat, whole grains, carbohydrate quality and quantity, and moderate alcohol consumption as they relate to metabolic syndrome.