Abstract Background There is a lack of studies examining the association between Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and obesity. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the association of adherence to the MIND diet with MetS and general and abdominal obesity. Methods This cross-sectional study was performed on 836 Iranian adults, 18–75 years old. A 167-item food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to assess dietary intakes of participants. Anthropometric measurements, blood pressure, fasting blood glucose and lipid profile of each participant were recorded. The guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) was used to define MetS. Results Mean age of study participants was 47.7 ± 10.7 years. The prevalence of MetS was 36.1% and mean body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference (WC) was 27.7 ± 4.69 kg/m2 and 92.0 ± 12.4 cm respectively. Those who were in the third tertile of the MIND diet score compared to the first tertile had 12% lower odds of having the MetS (ORs: 0.88; 95% CI 0.62–1.24) but the association was not significant (P = 0.77). There was a significant inverse association between the MIND diet score and odds of reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (ORs: 0.59; 95% CI 0.41–0.85; P = 0.008) and general obesity (ORs: 1.190.80–1.78; 95% CI 0.80–1.78; P = 0.02) in crude model and after controlling for confounders. Conclusions We found that the MIND diet score is inversely associated with odds of reduced HDL and general obesity in Iranian adults.