Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and most other countries. Therefore, a disease of such wide-ranging impact calls for the development of multiple viable strategies for prevention. Diet plays an important role in the development of the major risk factors of CVD such as low-grade systemic inflammation, hypertension, obesity, diabetes and atherosclerosis, the most significant. Thus, diet-based methods of prevention would not only be more feasible, but ultimately more cost-effective than relying on drugs to combat this condition. In recent years, peptides derived from either animal or plant sources have been found to have various bioactive properties. Nevertheless, their potential impact on inflammation and prevention of atherosclerosis has not been fully explored, particularly at the molecular level. In this review, the most current scientific information from in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies on the role of dietary proteins and peptides on CVD has been summarized and discussed.