BACKGROUND & AIMS: There is scarce evidence from long-term prospective studies relating the consumption of fried foods with the incidence of Metabolic Syndrome (MS). The aim of this study was to assess the association between fried food consumption and the incidence of MS. METHODS: We followed 8289 participants (2813 men and 5476 women, mean age = 35.9 y, SD = 10.4) during a median period of 8.3-y. They were initially free of any MS criteria. MS was defined according to the American Heart Association and the International Diabetes Federation criteria as outlined in the harmonized definition for MS. Each component of the MS was assessed at the 6th and 8th-y of follow-up. The outcome was defined as the presence of ≥3 of the components of MS after ≥6 years of follow-up. RESULTS: During 65335 person-years, 420 incident cases of MS were identified. Frequent consumption of fried foods was not associated with the incidence of MS [HR = 0.98 (95% CI: 0.77-1.26) p for trend = 0.862]. However, two components of the MS, central adiposity and high blood pressure were positively associated with fried food consumption [HR for consumption >4 times/week compared with ≤2 times/week = 1.10 (95% CI: 1.01-1.19) (p for trend 0.022) and HR = 1.16 (95% CI: 1.02-1.32) (p for trend 0.011), respectively] after multivariable adjustment. CONCLUSIONS: In this Mediterranean cohort of relatively young adults, frequent consumption of fried foods was not associated with MS. Two out of five components of MS (central adiposity and high blood pressure) were positively associated with frequent fried food consumption.