The metabolic syndrome is a cluster of disorders dominated by abdominal obesity, hypertriacylglycerolaemia, low HDL-cholesterol, high blood pressure and high fasting glucose. Diet modification is a safe and effective way to treat the metabolic syndrome. Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is a dietary pattern rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, and low in meats and sweets. DASH provides good amounts of fibre, K, Ca and Mg, and limited quantities of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and Na. Although DASH was initially designed for the prevention or control of hypertension, using a DASH diet has other metabolic benefits. In the present review, the effect of each dietary component of DASH on the risk factors of the metabolic syndrome is discussed. Due to limited fat and high fibre and Ca content, individuals on the DASH diet are less prone to overweight and obesity and possess lower concentrations of total and LDL-cholesterol although changes in TAG and HDL-cholesterol have been less significant and available evidence in this regard is still inconclusive. Moreover, high amounts of fruit and vegetables in DASH provide great quantities of K, Mg and fibre, all of which have been shown to reduce blood pressure. K, Mg, fibre and antioxidants have also been effective in correcting glucose and insulin abnormalities. Evidence is provided from cross-sectional investigations, cohort studies and randomised controlled trials, and, where available, from published meta-analyses. Mechanisms are described according to human studies and, in the case of a lack of evidence, from animal and cell culture investigations.