Since the renaissance of microbiome research in the past decade, much insight has accumulated in comprehending forces shaping the architecture and functionality of resident microorganisms in the human gut. Of the multiple host-endogenous and host-exogenous factors involved, diet emerges as a pivotal determinant of gut microbiota community structure and function. By introducing dietary signals into the nexus between the host and its microbiota, nutrition sustains homeostasis or contributes to disease susceptibility. Herein, we summarize major concepts related to the effect of dietary constituents on the gut microbiota, highlighting chief principles in the diet-microbiota crosstalk. We then discuss the health benefits and detrimental consequences that the interactions between dietary and microbial factors elicit in the host. Finally, we present the promises and challenges that arise when seeking to incorporate microbiome data in dietary planning and portray the anticipated revolution that the field of nutrition is facing upon adopting these novel concepts.