BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Fermented dairy products have been associated with a better diet quality and cardio-metabolic profile. However, in Mediterranean populations, these associations have not been well characterized. The aim of this study was to assess the diet quality and the associations between the consumption of total fermented dairy products and their subtypes and the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) components in a Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. METHODS AND RESULTS:Baseline cross-sectional analyses were conducted on 6,572 men and women (mean age: 65 years) with overweight or obesity and MetS recruited into the PREDIMED-Plus cohort. A 143-item Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was used, and anthropometrical, biochemical, and blood pressure measurements were recorded. Multivariate-adjusted Cox regressions were fitted to analyze the association between quartiles of consumption of fermented dairy products and their subtypes and MetS components to estimate the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Participants who were high consumers of fermented dairy products reported a higher consumption of fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, and whole bread and a lower consumption of white bread, alcohol, and cookies. Participants in the higher quartile showed a lower prevalence of the low HDL-cholesterol component of the MetS (RR=0.88; 95% CI: 0.78-0.98) than those in the lowest quartile of cheese consumption. Cheese consumption was inversely associated with the prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia. Total fermented dairy products, yogurt, and its types were not associated with any of the MetS components. CONCLUSIONS:Compared to nonconsumers, participants consuming fermented dairy products reported a better diet quality and, particularly, cheese consumers presented a lower prevalence of hypertriglyceridemia and low HDL-cholesterol plasma levels, which are MetS components.