A couple years back (before cameras got so good at high iso) you would see a lot of discussions of “exposing to the right” (the right side of the histogram) to suppress noise. This is basically the same as the advice above. When you “expose to the right” you try to make the exposure as bright as possible without blowing out highlights. The images tend to look a bit flat and overexposed out of the camera but then you can bring the exposure back down and adjust contrast in post processing and the image comes back to life.
So, don’t avoid adjusting the EV. This adjustment gives you full control over the cameras meter and the resulting exposure.
Another thing to keep in mind is that heavy cropping will make noise more visible. This makes high ISO performance and good exposure critical for bird shooters since we all seem to crop alot no matter how long our lens is. I am more particular about what I shoot when the light is low. If the subject is too far away and will require a heavy crop I will not take the shot.
I also like to point out that objectionable noise is a subjective thing. An image that seems excessively noisy at 100% magnification may not be bad at all at normal viewing size. I try to evaluate the impact of noise at the size of the final output and a viewing distance that allows the viewer to see the image in its entirety.
I suggest taking some images that you feel are overly noisy and make some good size prints (12" x 18" or super B size) and then see how the noise impacts the image at a viewing distance of about 18-24 inches (45cm - 60cm) or arm’s length. I bet most will be surprised at how much of that noise that we see at 100% just disappears in print.
This image for example looks pretty bad at 100%. (I will try to post a 100% crop later)
I have this printed at 20" x 30" (61cm x 76cm) in my house and there is no apparent noise at any viewing distance that the image can be viewed as a whole.