Plasma apoB is a more accurate marker of the risk of CVD and type 2 diabetes (T2D) than LDL-cholesterol; however, nutritional reviews targeting apoB are scarce. Here we reviewed eighty-seven nutritional studies and present conclusions in order of strength of evidence. Plasma apoB was reduced in all studies that induced weight loss of 6–12 % using hypoenergetic diets (seven studies; 5440–7110 kJ/d; 1300–1700 kcal/d; 34–50 % carbohydrates; 27–39 % fat; 18–24 % protein). When macronutrients were compared in isoenergetic diets (eleven studies including eight randomised controlled trials (RCT); n 1189), the diets that reduced plasma apoB were composed of 26–51 % carbohydrates, 26–46 % fat, 11–32 % protein, 10–27 % MUFA, 5–14 % PUFA and 7–13 % SFA. Replacement of carbohydrate by MUFA, not SFA, decreased plasma apoB. Moreover, dietary enriching with n-3 fatty acids (FA) (from fish: 1·1–1·7 g/d or supplementation: 3·2–3·4 g/d EPA/DHA or 4 g/d EPA), psyllium (about 8–20 g/d), phytosterols (about 2–4 g/d) or nuts (30–75 g/d) also decreased plasma apoB, mostly in hyperlipidaemic subjects. While high intake of trans-FA (4·3–9·1 %) increased plasma apoB, it is unlikely that these amounts represent usual consumption. Inconsistent data existed on the effect of soya proteins (25–30 g/d), while the positive association of alcohol consumption with low plasma apoB was reported in cross-sectional studies only. Five isoenergetic studies using Mediterranean diets (including two RCT; 823 subjects) reported a decrease of plasma apoB, while weaker evidence existed for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), vegetarian, Nordic and Palaeolithic diets. We recommend using a Mediterranean dietary pattern, which also encompasses the dietary components reported to reduce plasma apoB, to target hyperapoB and reduce the risks of CVD and T2D.