The effect of macronutrient intake on the metabolic syndrome (MS) is still controversial. Our aim in this study was to assess the relationships between macronutrient intake and the risk of developing the MS in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.In this cross-sectional study, 967 high-risk men and women (55-80 years) were assessed according to the MS criteria defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP3) and those established by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). A 137-item validated food frequency questionnaire was used. Odds ratios (OR) for macronutrient intake and MS were calculated and adjustments were made for potential confounders.When applying the ATP3 criteria, an inverse association was found for fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) intake, with ORs of 0.55 (95% CI: 0.35-0.86) and 0.60 (95% CI: 0.39-0.94), respectively, for the 5th versus the 1st quintile. Using the IDF criteria, an inverse association between fiber intake and the MS was obtained whereas a direct association was found between carbohydrate intake and the MS: OR = 1.71 (95% CI: 1.05-2.79) for the highest versus the lowest quintile.A diet rich in fiber and PUFAs is correlated with a reduced risk of MS in subjects at high cardiovascular risk.