Acetylation is an important, reversible post-translational modification affecting histone and non-histone proteins with critical roles in gene transcription, DNA replication, DNA repair, and cell cycle progression. Key regulatory enzymes include histone deacetylase (HDACs) and histone acetyltransferases (HATs). Overexpressed HDACs have been identified in many human cancers, resulting in repressed chromatin states that interfere with vital tumor suppressor functions. Inhibition of HDAC activity has been pursued as a mechanism for re-activating repressed genes in cancers, with some HDAC inhibitors showing promise in the clinical setting. Dietary compounds and their metabolites also have been shown to modulate HDAC activity or expression. Out of this body of research, attention increasingly has shifted towards non-histone targets of HDACs and HATs, such as transcriptions factors, hormone receptors, DNA repair proteins, and cytoskeletal components. These aspects are covered in present review, along with the possible clinical significance. Where such data are available, examples are cited from the literature of studies with short chain fatty acids, polyphenols, isoflavones, indoles, organosulfur compounds, organoselenium compounds, sesquiterpene lactones, isoflavones, and various miscellaneous agents. By virtue of their effects on both histone and non-histone proteins, dietary chemopreventive agents modulate the cellular acetylome in ways that are only now becoming apparent. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms will likely enhance the potential to more effectively combat diseases harboring altered epigenetic landscapes and dysregulated protein signaling.